LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Mar. 3

Sonoma-Cutrer 2014 Russian River Ranches Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast, California)

Sale $24.95, Regular $27.95
Discount (until Mar. 27): $3.00
LCBO # 608653 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Clean and lean fresh-cut apple, citrus and pear — with a little visit to the tropics. Elegant, restrained and balanced.
Pairs with: Creamy cheese, simple risotto, salmon, pork — nothing too flashy.
Good for: Showcasing really good food without a lot of jumping up and down.
Alcohol: 14.2%
Drink: Now to 2019.

Why we're drinking this
This is no secret: California makes damn good wines — especially Chardonnays. (One day they might even give Ontario Chards a run for their money.) Sonoma-Cutrer is a perennial favourite at the LCBO and it’s consistently reliable. The winery opened in 1973, and the Russian River Ranches brand launched in 1981. It’s apparently the “most requested Chardonnay in America’s finest restaurants” for 22 of the last 24 years, according to the annual Wine & Spirits Restaurant Poll (2013). Does that mean it’s good? Well, that is the question…

Tasting note
I’ve tasted this wine many times over the years, and it’s solid. The 2014, though, seems more restrained, more “cool climate” than previous vintages. I expected bigger, bolder, buttery-er. But it’s actually quite elegant and… cool. On the nose, fresh cut apple, citrus and pear; pretty much text book. Then some tropical hints and a bit more lime. Pretty. The palate has more of the same, with vanilla and sweet spice, some tangerine. Supple texture and smooth acidity. The finish is clean, medium in length. Tip: Don’t chill too long. The aromas and flavours are subtle and need warmth.

Find it at your LCBO
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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder