It’s all in the family with Pedroncelli. It all started in 1927, when Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli purchase their hillside Geyserville property with a mere 25 acres planted predominantly to Zinfandel. The winery survived prohibition, watched Dry Creek become an AVA, expanded and replanted their vineyards, opened their official tasting room. It’s been 90 years of wine and vine ups and downs and Pedroncelli has managed to keep it all in the family.

About the Wine: Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Creek Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from the family’s estate vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley AVA of Sonoma County, California. Eighty-eight percent of the grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks, with the remaining fermenting in neutral American oak barrels. Each was aged for 6 months prior to blending, and the final blend went through secondary malolactic fermentation.

14.3% ABV

Flavor Profile: Twist off the cap and take a small whiff just above the opening to find scents of apples, oak, and grass. The Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Creek Chardonnay is a calm, soothing, pale yellow on the pour, settling into the glass just two shades denser for an almost diluted apple juice color.

Initial aromas are quite floral in the glass — wildflowers, dewy grass — along with a background of oak, reminiscent of walking into a fermentation cellar. Swirl to find stronger scents of fresh baked apples, poached pears, honey, nutmeg, and a thin to medium line of acid that brings forward a perfume-like quality to those wildflowers. Take the nose slightly away from the glass and find a beachy mineralty, as if breathing in the sea salt and sandy air of the ocean-side.

On the palate, the Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Creek Chardonnay is quite smooth, though more oval than round, as there is a certain acidity from start to finish. This acidity accentuates as the taste progresses, encompassing the perimeter of the tongue — though amplified in the back corners of the tongue — and leaving a lingering finish of baking spices and an aftertaste of those perfectly baked apples. Predominant flavors are of apple, honey, pear, melon, baking spices (nutmeg, and a bit of cinnamon), flower petals, and fern leaf.

Food Pairing: I paired the Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Creek Chardonnay with, well, a pizza. Because I knew that it would go so well with the copious amounts of cheese I love to top my pie with. And it did — that solid line of acidity, that refreshing minerality, even the spices — all cut through the fats and oils of my pizza.

That being said, I could see pairing this wine with a more “elevated” meal. I’m thinking a simple spring vegetable risotto topped with shrimp scampi would be divine!

More Info: I received the Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Creek Chardonnay as a sample in conjunction with #WiningHourChat on Twitter. (Cheers Li!) For more information about Pedroncelli, their family history, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Pedroncelli website.

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