LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: March 2

Sonoma-Cutrer 2015 Russian River Ranches Chardonnay (California)

Sale $24.95, Regular $27.95
Discount (until Mar. 26): $3.00
Vintages #608653 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Crisp apple and tree fruit overlaid with tropical notes.
Pairs with: White meats in creamy sauces, grilled scallops, white bean stew, soft bloomy-rind cheeses.
Good for: A nice dinner—try out a new recipe!—or sipping with some nice cheeses and nuts.
Alcohol: 14.2%
Drink: Now to 2019.

Why we're drinking this
Here’s a Chardonnay from Sonoma-Cutrer that’s terrifically popular in the premium wine category, well known as a rather luscious fruit bomb with a fair amount of warm oak and ripe tropical fruit. But it’s changed a bit over the past few vintages. The oak and overall weight have been toned down a bit. It’s now a leaner wine than it used to be, and quite lovely at that. It’s no secret that California is battling climate change—years-long drought is a big issue—and trying to maintain its grip on the fine wine category, which is now favouring finessed, low-alcohol, cool-climate wines. This wine isn’t quite there yet, but it’s a very good Chardonnay by any measure, dancing delicately along the line of California “oomph” and the popular taste that likes things a little more crisp.

Tasting note
Pretty nose of tree fruit (fresh pear, peach, apricot) and fresh-cut apple, along with very clean tropical like banana and pineapple, custard and tinned apricot syrup. A little cake spice—vanilla, clove—too, which rise up along with a little alcohol heat. A very fruity, tempting nose. The wine is dry, but rich and chewy, with all the aforementioned flavours being led by tree fruit, apple and citrus. Just on the plus side of medium weight, and very expressive, with a long butterscotch finish. It achieves a very pleasing balance. I wouldn’t call it light on its feet, but it’s a nimble middle weight. It would pair nicely with anything with hollandaise, some nice spring asparagus, say. Try also chicken divan, pork roast, crab and avocado salad, grilled scallops, white bean stew and soft bloomy-rind cheese.

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