What We Say 2009 Couples & Co Chardonnay
Celebrate Operatives! Earlier this year we marked the return of Mitch Cosentino with his Pure Cru Wines project and it was a huge success. Responding to operative demands, we revisit Mitch and Pure Cru to bring you their delicious 2009 Chardonnay.
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Mission Codename: Hitting The Links
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Mitch Cosentino enjoys the distinction of being The Wine Spies’ top-selling winemaker of all time. Revisit Mitch’s winery, return with an ample allocation of Mitch’s latest Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: pureCru by M. Cosentino
Wine Subject: 2009 Couples and Co Napa Valley Chardonnay
Winemaker: Mitch Cosentino
Winery Backgrounder: Mitch Cosentino’s wines enjoy the distinction of being one of our top-selling winemaker of all time. Mitch’s wines are varied, distinctive and always delicious.
Varietal Backgrounder: Chardonnay is arguably the greatest of all white grape varietals, showing its influence in the legendary sparkling wines of Champagne, the great whites of Burgundy and of course its expression as ‘the’ white wine of California. Chardonnay represents over 50% of the planted white grapes in California with nearly 100,000 acres planted. With such a great number of wines made from this grape, it stands to reason that finding wines of immense quality would be hard, but look no further.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale straw yellow with subtle light golden hues through its heart when held to the light. Along the edges the color pales to clear and when swirled clusters of thin legs initially race down the side of the glass before slowing and thickening.
Smell – Bright with aromas of citrus fruit including grapefruit and tangerine with subtle complex hints of white and orange blossom flowers and just a touch of spice. Soft toast and vanilla from a restrained oak component keeps this wine fresh.
Feel – Light, crisp and initially cool, this medium-to-full bodied dry white has good weight, crisp minerality and lively acidity that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Racy flavors of citrus including grapefruit, lemon and tangerine blend with a touch of restrained oak with hints of vanilla and toast. A touch of orange blossom, both floral and honey along with hints of spice adds complexity.
Finish – Medium-long in length with the bright citrus fading first leaving behind this wine’s vibrant acidity, crisp minerality and spice as the other complex flavors fade.
Conclusion – The 2009 pureCru Couples and Co Napa Valley Chardonnay is a delicious, fresh and bright Chardonnay that, because it has no malolactic fermentation, showcases the bright and lively fruit from start to finish. Lovely citrus and other complex notes that are restrained in their appearance this wine is perfect to pair with light seafood, oysters on the half-shell or ripe cheeses. Enjoy now or for the next several years, when we expect the complexity of the fruit to fully evolve.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Mitch Cosentino
WINE EDUCATION: Self Taught – and 33 years of practical experience
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Winemaker for Cosentino Winery from 1980 to 2010,
Consultant to various wineries and growers from 1989 to present.
Founder-Winemaker of pureCru Winery and Wines from 2009 to present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Flavor and balance
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1980 Merlot and a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon and a Blanc de Noir Sparkling wine all released in 1982 under the brand of Crystal Valley Cellars/Cosentino Wine Company.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mitch. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Chardonnay today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MITCH COSENTINO: No problem, I am always willing to help someone make a new discovery for the purposes of good over evil.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MITCH: No primarily “divine misguidence” telling me that I needed to learn about and pay attention to anything about wine.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MITCH: Several notable winemakers like Myron Nightingale and Ed Sbragia of the old Beringer days, John Parducci, John Daniels thru his old Inglenook Cabernets and others from the 60’s, and 70’s.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MITCH: I won’t make a wine that I wouldn’t enjoy myself, but otherwise the wines are made for the pleasure of all with food primarily.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
MITCH: is a red wine drinkers white wine. They will enjoy the intensity, structure and balance. Yet Chardonnay drinkers will enjoy the fruit center and concentration in a dry wine with great potential for aging much like a Premier Cru White Burgundy.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the grapes used in this wine so special?
MITCH: It is a wine made from two old clones not commonly grown in California any more. It is made from 75% old Chablis budwood and 25% old Meursault cuttings. The yield in these vineyards are tiny, less than two tons per acre. It is very versatile and and goes well with a wide range of cuisine.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MITCH: Making new blends and bottling.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
MITCH: Have fun, experiment and explore the possibilities.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
MITCH: More exciting things to come!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Mitch Cosentino’s Couples & Co. winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
About This Wine:
A wine with floral and fruit character upfront, yet well balanced and dry with good natural acidity. A clean finish with a hint of oak. There was no malolactic fermentation, thus this wine retains it’s bright natural acidity and as a result it will age for many years.
About The Winery:
Three wine lovers from the central valley join an award-winning Napa Valley winemaker to found pureCru, a winery producing small quantities of unique blends.
“I had been reminiscing about a small, hands-on entity where I could do it all myself again, like I did in the beginning.” Mitch Cosentino
Celebrating 30 years of winemaking and with more than a thousand awards to his name, Mitch Cosentino is making another dream come true with his launch of pureCru Napa Valley.
Mitch Cosentino – Cosentino began making wine in small lots in Modesto, California in 1980. Ten years later he moved the Cosentino Winery operation to the Napa Valley, where he continued to make many award-winning varietal and blended wines.
Cosentino has a gift for identifying fruit sources and is highly skilled and artistic in determining blends. He’s a big believer in the hands-on, old world use of punched cap fermentation, a labor-intensive, hand-crafted method of winemaking. When it comes to the small lots Cosentino puts into his pureCru blends, this “micro” approach to winemaking allows him to better control the delicate process from the vineyard to the bottle.
Mitch and Fred Couples – Cosentino is also a noted golfer, which led him to a partnership with Fred Couples and the creation of Couples & Co, a pureCru brand.
Couples initially discovered a taste for fine wine in his twenties, coinciding with his first golf tournament win. “I have enjoyed learning about wine for more than 25 years,” said Couples. “I’ve met many people in the wine business and have discovered that winemaking is an intricate process.”
After doing an in-depth tasting of preliminary blends with Cosentino in 2008, Couples knew he had found the right partner. “Mitch is a great winemaker,” said Couples. “I thought it was the right time and place to put my own name, along with Mitch’s, on a label.”
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 11 Months in French Oak