Wednesday, March 20, 2019



 Dry Creek Valley Estate Vineyards

 In the vineyards at harvest in 2015
Dry Creek Founder David Stare (r)  with his daughter, Dry Creek President Kim Stare Wallace (c) and her husband Don (l)

by Dwight Casimere
Dry Creek is one of the premiere family owned wineries in Sonoma County and its estate grown wines are among top-rated vintages according to all of the major wine publications. Founded by David Stare 46 years ago,  the winery is now led by the family's second generation. As president, his daughter, Kim Stare Wallace and her husband Don, have led the way for sustainable vineyard practices, resulting in wines of unparalleled quality and taste. Dry Creek DCV Estate 2015 Chardonnay ($34) is a shining example of Sonoma County Chardonnay. Grown within the winery's  185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards, the wine is the beneficiary of ideal growing conditions. With healthy, volcanic soils and cool, damp night and morning temperatures brought on by breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean and warm, sunny days that promote ripening and the development of complex sugars, there is no better example of Chardonnay since the grape departed its original home in Burgundy France.
Aromas of freshly baked apple pie and flavors of crisp, green apples and Bosc pear with hints of cinnamon and clove baking spices and an undertone of tarragon and shaved lemon zest literally burst forth. The wine further benefits from careful and long oak aging, which adds to the mature flavor and elegance of this wine. Its perfect with a smorgasbord of spring flavors; crisp fruit and vegetable salads, assorted vegetable crudite with a sour cream or avocado dip and an array of ripened soft cheeses come to mind. A creamy lobster or shrimp salad sandwich or a fluffy spinach omelette enhanced by a dollop of soft ripened Sonoma goat's cheese is another combination that comes to mind. Let your spring fancy take control. 
Don't forget the grill. Salmon quick-cooked over applewood or marinated lamb ribs or some rosemary and lemon marinated quail or young, farm-raised organic chickens and tarragon or dill shrimp on the skewer with chunks of fresh salmon, make for a delightful afternoon al fresco.
This versatile wine is also great just by itself. Served well chilled, sit back on the patio and drink in the warm spring air and imagine the soft late morning ocean breezes that make this wine one of the pristine gems of the Dry Creek Valley.

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