This is a wine that is quite special to me. I’m lucky enough to have winemakers send me their wines, invite me to visit, experience their vineyards. And I’ve discovered some beautiful — and very special — wines this way. But there is a special cubby hole in my heart and in my head I save for those wines I discover alongside my partner on a random excursion into wine country. Savannah-Chanelle had the added benefit of being close to our first home together, which was closer to San Francisco’s South Bay wine country — where the terroir and, thus, the varietal expressions are wholly different.

On Saturday nights we celebrate date night, when, if we have nothing else to toast, we toast each other. So cin-cin and cheers to us…

About the Wine: The Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from Tondre’s vineyard located in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in California.

The wine was aged in 100% stainless steel tanks on it lees. The Chardonnay did not undergo any malolactic fermentation and did not touch any oak.

13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay and find very delicate aromas of apple, butter, lemongrass, nuts, vanilla and maybe caramel. This Chardonnay presents quite clear on the pour, with just a tint champagne in the light. In the glass, it’s stronger, more confident in its golden-apple yellow.

Initial aromas once in the glass are definitely of caramel, vanilla, and apple. A deep breath in will reveal some citrus weaving throughout it as well. Swirl, and open up the more rounder scents of walnuts and cream.

The palate of the Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay is soft, smooth, with the acid picking up its strength about one-third of the way through. This amplifies continuously toward the finish and you’re left with a sparkly, almost spice-filled finish. Dominant flavors are of grapefruit, green apple, pomelo zest, a river rock minerality, baking spices (like nutmeg), and an over-arching generic green-herb.

Overall this Chardonnay is clean, crisp, refreshing. It is, actually, one of the most unique Chardonnays I’ve had in a long time.

Food Pairing: As you may be able to tell from the picture…

I paired the Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay with an herb crusted lamb rack, served with a yellow cauliflower purée, a roasted beetroot and roasted chantrelle mushroom salad, herbed goats cheese, and a caramelized onion.

I have no notes. I have no notes because this pairing was so perfect, I spent the evening enjoying my food and wine and not taking any notes. I was really eager to try a white wine with a lamb dish and, I will say, I tailored the sides with that in mind. And I will also say that in its delicacy, this Chardonnay has a strength to stand up to a well-seasoned gamier meat like lamb.

Loved this pairing. Full stop.

More Info: I purchased the Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay at the tasting room. Price: $20. For more information about Savannah-Chanelle, their estate, and wines, please visit the Savannah-Chanelle website.

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