Chardonnay is the most planted wine grape in Virginia and the most popular wine sold nationwide. Worldwide there are over 400,000 acres planted to Chardonnay; that’s 3.75 times the size of Barbados.
As a grape it is relatively easy to grow in most climates and is very “malleable”, it takes on vastly different characteristics dependent on the mesoclimate and soils were it is cultivated. Stonier, shale soils with high clay levels tend to produce lighter more Burgundian style where sandy soils often produce richer more weighty wines.
Dry Mill Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay demonstrates how special stainless steel Chardonnay can be. While it has been said that buttery oak Chardonnay can hide a wine’s flaws, stainless steel fermentation (see Vincabulary) does not hide the fruit behind the oak.
Light amber in the glass this wine is elegant in its appearance with consistent color. The nose is filled with Granny Smith apples, grapefruit, and fig.
The round attack features an undercurrent of poached pear leading to a more tropical midpalate with hints of rising bread dough. The finish lingers slightly with crisp acid, flinty minerality and just a hint of smoke.
The brightness of this Chardonnay leads me to pairing with seared scallops, roasted poultry or grilled tuna. Built to be consumed young this wine will not significantly improve with age.
DRINK NOW – SUMMER 2014