After tasting Big Sur Vineyards flagship red blend, BSV Red Wine, it was clear to me that this little winery has a passion for big, bold flavors. So I will preface this post with a bit of a warning: when it comes to their Chardonnay, there’s no exception to that passion. Certainly, this is a white wine one must be in the mood for. For me, that mood came along on a crisp Fall evening when I wanted to warm myself from the inside out with a glass of wine — but was in the mood for a white wine. Enter a warm hug from Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay.

About the Wine: Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from the Sycamore Flat vineyard in the Arroyo Secco AVA of Monterey County.

14.3% AVA

Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay and smell an overwhelming richness of sweet brioche bread, warm, as if right out of the oven. Visually the wine is a full — again rich — concentrated golden yellow. Initial aromas are round with soft apple, pear, oven-fresh bread, and hints of warm milk. There’s a sharp acidity that pierces right through the center enticing you to swirl. So swirl and sniff again, breathe in more of that malolactic action, fresh oak barrel wood, hints of honey, and the scent of wet grass on a warm, humid morning. Pull the nose away, just above the glass, and find a subtle floral perfume.

The mouthfeel is quite full, but the acidity kicks in immediately and seems to crescendo, enveloping the tongue and warming the heart at the finish. While the nose of the Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay is distinctly pomme fruits, I actually get more stone fruits on the palate, namely soft, warm peaches and warm, frothy cream — yes that malolactic fermentation seems to be the foundation of this Chardonnay. But with enough acidity, I’m here to tell you it’s perfectly executed. Enveloped by that ML are flavors of pollen, white pepper, white flowers, and marcona almonds.

Food Pairing: I actually, first, enjoyed this wine as a heart-warming aperitif on a cold fall evening. On its own, this wine is like a hug from the inside out.

If you want the wine to work, it certainly can. I also paired this with a cheese-filled pasta and cream sauce. While the creamy elements paralleled that soft, full texture and body in the Chardonnay, the Chardonnay — as I’ve said — strong current of acidity that cuts right through all of that, keeping the palate fully alive.

If you want a perfect pairing, try the Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay with a simple grilled white fish, coconut rice, and served with a ginger-lemongrass sauce. Trust me.

More Info: I received the Big Sur Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay as a gift from a friend. (Cheers Kerry!) Retail: $30. For more information about Big Sur Vineyards, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Big Sur Vineyards website.

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