Biddle Ranch, Edna Valley
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There are two types of people. Those who like to talk, effortless keeping a conversation flowing from one thing to the next. And then there are those of little words; little meaning-packed words.
At our most recent team tasting where we all agreed the 2018 was ready to meet the world, Uncle John took his glass of 2018 Chard, raised it quickly to his mustached palate and just as quickly lowered it to the counter again. A languid eternity passed before his decisive words came.
“I like it.”
And from a seasoned winemaker- that’s all it takes.
Image: soft amber and rich honey with hints of antiqued diamonds
Bouquet: Madagascar vanilla crème brûlée waltz to jasmine florals and subtle caramel brioche
Palate: brilliantly oaked introduction and velvet butter on the mid-palate, a crisp pineapple floral finish adds a refreshing twist on a classic Burgundian profile
Years ago, I once offered a glass of white wine to an older gentleman who smiled warmly but declined.
He told me “there are some really good white wines out there, but great reds. And why dabble with anything less than great?” His profound analysis vividly stuck with me so long because I completely agreed with him;
I am not known for silence. I can talk (and talk) about anything and everything. It is not often that I find myself at a loss for words- you can just ask John. Our 2018 Chardonnay is indescribably excellent- but I will try anyway.
My first sip of this Chardonnay left my palate so pleasantly satiated that I honestly couldn’t describe what I was tasting. And I didn’t want to try to share my thoughts and ruin it by opening my mouth (for anything other than just-one-sip-more). I wanted to curl up, close my eyes and experience that unhurried and utterly unexpected contentment over and over and over. All 750ml of it.
Make no mistake; I am a Pinot girl with dreams of fruit-forward forest-floor red wine swirling in a crystal glass. I will happily spend an evening in the blessed dark glory of Syrah. But my evening anticipation of opening a bottle of intensely complex [red] wine had been bolstered by a new day’s long expectation of a cool, crisp glass of this [white] wine.
Furthermore, this Chardonnay is not merely a great wine. It is a great wine that shines in the ranks of some of the most serious and highly accoladed red wines we have ever produced.
Since my 2018 Chardonnay awakening, I have delighted myself in challenging our ‘red-only’ members and aficionados with “just-one-sip” and sitting back, watching their placating, non-expectant sip turn into a raised eyebrow. Lips upturn into an amused grin and finally a furrowed look as they glare into their glass checking to be sure their eyes (and I) didn’t trick them.
“Wow. You were right. That is a great wine.”