Monterey, with it’s maritime climate, produces some of the most refreshingly open and light-bodied wines. Picture moist, foggy air wafting over the vineyard as a beautiful bay breeze blows across the foothills of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Breathe in that freshness, feel your lungs expand, and engage in that freedom of open air meeting open land meeting open water. Now put that feeling in a bottle of wine.

Carmel Road 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay: a prime example of a New World region’s ability to create a unique drinking experience based on its unique terroir and climate…

About the Wine: To maintain the essence of the maritime, cool-climate grown chardonnay grape, the winemakers chose to ferment the 2014 harvest in 100% stainless steel. Thus, the fermentation a “low and slow” process, as lengthy, low-temp fermentation is the best when preserving the freshness of the fruit.

The Carmel Road 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay is made from 100% chardonnay grapes from the Clark Ranch Vineyard in Monterey. 13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: This Chardonnay is every bit as fresh as once could imagine. Initial flavors include green apple, alongside stone fruits like white nectarine, with a hint of citrus, adding to the acidity level (which I would say is medium to medium-high), underlying it all. In the back of the palate, there is a distinct note of honey, which gives the wine a calm, smooth finish. This relationship between fruit, honey, and acidity gives this unoaked chardonnay a perfect balance in flavor and mouthfeel.

Food Pairing: Think cool and crisp: a salad featuring crisp apples to accompany the fruit flavors, a soft cheese to accentuate the round mouthfeel, and toasted walnuts to play with those hints of honey would be the ideal pairing for Carmel Road’s Unoaked Chardonnay. In terms of protein, I would highly recommend a fattier fish, like salmon, as the delicateness of the fish will parallel the delicateness of the wine, while the acidity of the wine will help cut through the oils in the fish.

More Info: Learn more about Carmel Road and purchase wines directly on their site. I purchased this specific wine at Safeway (Sale Price: $13.99).

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