I’ve been having such fun experimenting with new releases of California Chardonnay. I feel like the modern expressions of the grape has come to vary so widely that gone are the days of this white wine’s stereotypes — the new norm is the ab-norm. And while this Chardonnay does reflect those “classic” characteristics, and may not be to everyone’s palate, it does have a fresh take on an old look and certainly has its time and place when paired with the proper meal. 

About the Wine: The Scheid Vineyards 2016 Escolle Road Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from the Escolle Road Vineyard located in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County in California. According to the winery, the vineyard is located at the northern, elevated bench of the AVA where it contains ancient, glacial alluvial soils and receives morning fog and afternoon winds, creating a “true Region 1climate.”

The grapes were all hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed, chilled and racked clean to a refrigerated stainless steel tank. The juice was then inoculated with select strains of yeast and fermented slowly at a cool temperature (exact temperature unknown). A portion of the wine was racked clean to barrels and fermented at a higher temperature (exact percentage and temperature unknown).

After fermentation, the wine aged in 100% French oak barrels for 18 months.

14.8% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Scheid Vineyards 2016 Escolle Road Vineyard Chardonnay and find intense aromas of apple, apple blossom, warm grass, and buttermilk biscuit. The color of this Chardonnay is a light Champagne-hue on the pour and in the glass. Initial aromas are immediately of apples, pears, flowers, and cream. Swirl and intensify the freshness of those apples with a solid dose of acidity. Dominant aromas are of, specifically, green apples, swirled with a hint of honey. Lift your nose above the glass and find an aura of chamomile.

The palate of the Open the bottle of the Scheid Vineyards 2016 Escolle Road Vineyard Chardonnay is soft, round, with a backbone of acidity that cuts through and lingers with just a hint of white pepper heat on the finish. Dominant flavors are of apple, pear, raw nuts, Greek yogurt, popcorn, chamomile, and just a touch of honey.

Food Pairing: To me, this Chardonnay is just a touch heavy handed with the ML and, as such, is a hard one to sip on its own. However, this does mean it makes the perfect pairing to equally decadent (as in rich and creamy) dishes such as seafood risotto or pasta alfredo.

More Info: I received the Scheid Vineyards 2016 Escolle Road Vineyard Chardonnay as a sample for review. (Cheers Jean!) Price: $45. For more information about Scheid Vineyards, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Scheid Vineyards website.

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