Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pushing the "Reset" Button on California Chardonnay - Foxglove '09

As someone who has spent some time talking to customers in a retail operation, it has become apparent that Chardonnay lovers are becoming more and more enamored of unoaked versions all the time. The days of Chardonnay bottlings dominated by vanilla flavors and buttery textures appear to be waning. They are heavy handed wines that are low enough in acidity that they do not pair well with food and can in fact get "lost in the sauce". This entry level Chardonnay bottling of Varner Wines called Foxglove is a completely unoaked version that has garnered fully deserved accolades from wine writers much more important than me, and I have to agree. It sees no barrel and no malolactic fermentation whatsoever. Malolactic fermentation is a secondary fermentation that happens naturally and you either allow it to happen or you stop it. It converts the harsher malic acid into the softer lactic acid and it is what gives some California Chardonnays their buttery characteristics. I prefer the style that the Foxglove represents and it sells for an affordable $14.99. It has typical Chardonnay aromas of pear, apple and a note of honey. In the mouth the pear flavors really leap to the front and this lovely wine has a creamy, medium-bodied, somewhat oily texture and wonderful acidity that keeps it lively and fresh. It's bold enough to stand up to grilled chicken and delicate enough to pair with pan seared salmon or grilled shrimp. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to borrow your photo for a slideshow I'm doing on where to buy Foxglove in the DC area to accompany my column on I'd, of course, credit your blog and link back. Please email me at budgetwineguy[at] if this would be cool.

    Rob Garretson
    DC Budget Wine Examiner