by Dwight Cashmere
This is a lush, full-flavored Chardonnay from Sonoma's famed Russian River Valley. Dry Creek pulled out all the stops to create this 'runway model' of a Chardonnay. Harvested under ideal weather conditions in mid-September, the wine was pressed from whole clusters and then barrel fermented, with 50% of the juice undergoing malolactic fermentation. Aging ion French Oak brought forth a delightfully flavorful well-balanced wine with lush flavors of ripe tropical fruits; ripe honeydew melons, Meyer lemons, mandarin orange and ripe tangerine with hints of toasted almonds, cinnamon stick and a slight after taste of salted caramel. A hint of white flowers and crushed chamomille and sliced Golden Delicious Apples greets the nose just as the flavors begin to cascade down the palate. This is a terrific lunchtime wine to be enjoyed with salads, roasted free-range chicken with sage or tarragon, garlic and white pepper, then drenched in the wine for slow oven-poaching. Throw in some fresh multi-colored carrots, some tiny golden yukon fingerling potatoes and some fresh garden peas and you have a one-pot dish that will make this golden colored beauty shine. Serve a freshly baked apple/caramel crisp sprinkled with crushed almonds and a dash of creme fraiche or freshly whipped cream and you have the perfect ending to a perfect meal. Save a bit of the wine to savor alone afterward, because, with its hearty, well balanced structure and beautiful 'legs', this beauty will just start opening up at meal's end to reveal even more astonishing taste treats. Be sure to buy two, because you just may want an encore performance at the following evening's meal.