Arroyo Seco sub AVA
ack in the day, California Chardonnays were oaky butter bombs. Happily there has been a shift toward a more judicious use of oak, allowing the fruit flavors to really come through. This wine was made in that new style and had just a kiss of oak.
Grown in the Arroyo Seco sub AVA (American Viticultural Area) of Monterey County, these grapes are affected by the coastal fog that rolls in toward the late afternoon and hangs low in the vineyard until morning. This type of weather tends to create bright, crisp fruit flavors with higher acid levels.
A bright lemon yellow, the Ventana Chardonnay had lovely lemon citrus, melon and honey aromas in our glasses. With just a sniff, one could tell that this wine had a touch of oak barrel contact but it wasn’t an overwhelming component. In our mouths, we tasted that kiss of oak combined with abundant lemons and lemon zest, along with pineapple.
This Chardonnay is very versatile and would pair well with salmon topped with mango salsa or a goat cheese ravioli.