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…
I’ve been having a hard time with Chardonnay lately. I’ve been finding them too overworked: either over-oaked or incorporating too much malolactic fermentation — in the worst cases both. I don’t like to start off a post with a negative, but you have to understand where I’m coming from. The Chardonnay’s of late have left me wondering — what does Chardonnay actually taste like? What is its entity? What is its innate nature? Ok, I’ll go there…where is its soul?
I found it. Here. With this wine. This is the Chardonnay I’ve been looking for. This is the pretty much the Chardonnay I want to always be in my cellar.
The story behind Mi Sueño Winery is truly one of the American dream realized. Owner and winemaker Rolando Herrera, Mexican immigrant, worked his way up the wine industry food chain. He started as a simple dishwasher for the famed Auberge du Soleil restaurant in Napa Valley back in 1982. Fifteen years later in 1997, after working various positions at several big-name wineries, Rolando, along with his wife Lorena, founded Mi Sueno Winery — it was the same years as their marriage. Indeed the two really did embark on a new life together that year. And so it is that they say their story is one of “love, passion, and deep understanding” — for each other, for their region, for the grapes they harvest, and the wines they make.
I’m going to be honest, I have no idea where this wine came from. Ok, I mean, I know who sent it to me, but it’s one of those scenarios of winemaker and grapegrower getting together for a little side project, not telling anyone, and then wam! wine! And I have the utmost respect for that. Winemakers, like many of us, have creative juices flowing in them all the time. Sometimes, what they’re “day job” requires of them may not exactly scratch that itch. So it’s fun when he or she can take a step back and say, “Here, this is just for me. But I made enough for you too. If you want some.” (Read the full story.)
Prescription is just that. It’s filled with whit and whimsey; fun and flavor. It’s a wine you can pull out in a pinch and just drink. And that’s kind of what I just did…
There are so many different styles of Chardonnay — from the crisp and refreshing, a result from 100% stainless steel fermentation and aging, to the full-out butter-bombs that occur from an abundant use of fresh oak and 100% malolactic fermentation. And then everything in between. How a Chardonnay tastes and feels is almost exclusively determined by the winemaker’s chosen process. Which Chardonnay you enjoy, well that is ultimately up to your personal palate. What I love about this Clos du Val Chardonnay is that it’s for the folks who are going to Dante’s fourth circle — the folks who can’t make up their minds. Soft palate, vibrant acidity, and depending on the temperature as milky (or not!) as you like.