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Culture / Foodie Events

A Chardonnay Revolution?

Rombauer Shows This Maligned Grape Doesn’t Deserve Its Bum Rap

BY // 12.14.15

I’ve been trying lots of Chardonnay lately. About a month ago I was served a California Chardonnay that had only the slightest oak, and I enjoyed it, so I’ve been on a mission since then to experience as many different bottles of the often-maligned grape as I can. What has happened is that I have tasted things new to me, and been reunited with some wines from producers I first encountered long ago.

In the latter category is today’s bottle, a 2013 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay. Rombauer is a well-known name, and if you possess a copy of The Joy of Cooking you will be happy to know that there is a familial connection between the winery and the author. (Rombauer’s first wines were released in 1984 — a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 1982 Chardonnay. Retail price for both was $12.50.)

We opened the bottle to pair with some shrimp sautéed in olive oil, and the decision was a good one. The 2013 Rombauer is full of expression, and has a creaminess that I like. The acidity makes the wine refreshing, and its notes of citrus and peach combine in a wonderful manner. The shrimp were wild, and the iodine flavor they possessed seems to mellow with the wine, a pleasant sensory experience. So, too, with the parsley sprinkled on the dish: The Chardonnay made the garnish livelier, fresher.

The wine has a lengthy finish, and 14.6 percent ABV. It would, in addition to our shrimp, pair well with butter-poached lobster and grilled fish. The 2013 is difficult to find, but the 2014 Carneros Chardonnay is available for around $36 at wine merchants and through the winery.

Looking for more wine selections? Visit the links below, and happy drinking!

Wine Talk: Ms. Champagne
A Tempranillo for daily drinking
Sisters make a good Chardonnay

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