I’d heard of the prestigious Cuvaison vineyard and winery, but this is my first adventure alongside them. What makes the wines so special? Not only are their grapes all estate grown, but the vineyard management is focused on block-by-block farming methods. So when tasting from their single-block series, as with this Chardonnay, one is tasting a very specific slice of Napa Valley terroir — which means precision in flavors and textures with every single sip.

About the Wine: The Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from a single block (Adda) of the winery’s estate vineyard located in Napa Valley’s Los Carneros AVA. This block includes some of the vineyard’s oldest (approximately 15 years) and lowest yielding Wente Clones. The grapes are harvested at varying levels of ripeness with each batch fermented separately for 31 days. The wine batches then aged separately for 18 months in French oak barriques (50% new), completing 100% malolactic fermentation. The final blend was created right before bottling.

14.2% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay and enjoy comforting scents of fresh apples warming in the summer sun. On the pour, this Chardonnay is a Champagne-like yellow, settling into the glass with a more richer, and a bit denser golden yellow hue. Initial aromas are all about apples and cream: the subtle acidity that comes with a yellow apple; the warmth and roundness that comes with cooked cream. Swirl, and put those scents together into the kicky-bitter scent of buttermilk. Dive the nose deep into the glass to find delicate vanilla notes, white flowers, and green grass — all wafting in that warm summer scene.

The palate of the Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay is round, with just a pin-needle prick of acidity that pierces through the center and ultimately developing into a flinty, matchstick-like finish. Dominant flavors are of under-ripe mango, pastry flakes, and that smoldering flame of a finish.

Food Pairing: I enjoyed the Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay as an aperitif to my homemade wild mushroom risotto which I paired with the Cuvaison 2015 Spire Point Pinot Noir. While one may think that risotto was made for Chardonnay — especially one with as voluptuous as a body and richness of flavors as this one — the meatiness of the mushrooms was actually more perfectly fit for the Pinot Noir. If one was going to serve food with the Cuvaison Adda Chardonnay, I would recommend keeping it light with a healthy dose of acidity (I’m thinking a ceviche appetizer here) to contrast the warming flavors and textures of the dish.

More Info: I received the Cuvaison 2015 Adda Chardonnay as a sample for review. (Cheers Michelle!) Retail: $50. For more information about Cuvaison, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Cuvaison website.

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