California: Monterey County
What We Say
LIMITED QUANTITY ALERT:
Very little of today’s wine is remaining. Bright, delicious, complex and drinking beautifully, this wine will sell out before the end of the day today
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Mission Codename: I will not drink bad wine…
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to Monterey County, in search of a stellar budget-minded Chardonnay, for our white wine loving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: CC Wines
Wine Subject: 2009 Classic California Chardonnay
Backgrounder: Monterey County is home to some of the finest Chardonnay in the country. The Wine Spies have featured several Monterey County Chardonnays and, every time, our Operatives have scooped them up enthusiastically. Today we mark our first infiltration of CC Winery, in Greenfield, California, whose CC Chardonnay took our tasting panel by surprise. Today’s wine is a value-minded, but complex and tasty treat.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Lightest golden yellow, with perfect clarity a through its ever so slightly darker heart. Swirl the wine wine and witness tall, skinny tears that fall very slowly down the glass wall.
Smell – Sweet and zesty and full on the nose, this wine leads with mixed citrus fruit, pineapple and pear. Let the wine warm, just slightly, and be rewarded with more complex aromas of chalky minerals, white acacia flowers, subtle sweetwood and a hint of dried hay.
Feel – Soft, smooth and round as the wine passes the tip of the tongue. As it settles onto the mid-palate, it on a more medium-bodied feel, with a plushness and soft minerality that combine with the wines bright acidity to give it an easy, medium complexity.
Taste – Bright and energetic, with fresh lemon, lime, pear and white nectarine out in front. Again, allow the wine to warm. When it does, you’ll enjoy added flavors of flint, dried flower petals, orange blossom and a hint of subtle sweetwood.
Finish – Medium long, with a clean and refreshing crispness. Fruit, flowers, subtle minerals and a hint of subtle white spice persist until the end.
Conclusion – The 2009 California Classic Chardonnay is a budget-friendly wine that really took our tasting panel by surprise. Lovely, light-hearted, refreshing and bursting with bright citrus and other tropical fruits, this wine is very evenly balanced. Soft on the palate the wine is velvet-smooth, even though it was stainless steel fermented. Best enjoyed after it warms, even just a little, as the wine is shy when just out of the chiller. Recommended as a solo-sipper, a favorite seafood dish or with a plate of meats and hard cheeses. At $12.99, this wine is a terrific value. Be warned, though, quantities are limited and this wine will sell out!
What the Winery Says
About this Wine
We have found a really exciting possibility with some vineyards down near Monterey where the days are cool and the fog plentiful. The aesthetic for the wine is one of freshness, of unbridled fruitand of zippy personality. This should be the white wine we all just reach for – casual, easy, refreshing. It is produced entirely in stainless steel which allows the fruit to shine unfettered and without the burdensome oak that plagues too many a chardonnay. With something this palate-pleasing, one can refresh often.
About the Winery
We have our own opinions on the way to make great wine. Great land – excellent start. Great juice – pretty essential. Great weather – yes, please. And trust us, we have all of the above going on – but we believe that one of the most important parts of making wine is the blending. This is the part where you either shoot the stars and realize all the splendor of your vinous dreams or, alternatively, you can take some amazing ingredients and just muck it all up. It is actually not unlike cooking. How much fun is a dry-aged rib eye steak cooked till it’s grey? You like soggy pasta? How about that last fusion dish of blueberries and lobster? Well winemaking is no different. Once the different pieces are made, they need to be put together in the right way to realize their true potential as one. One where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and not some put-it-all-together preponderance of confusion.
This is where we get off in the creation of our new wines CC: Chardonnay and Cabernet.
This is an amazing time in the wine world – never has there been more great wine and never has there been more interest on our shores in drinking the good stuff. Given that we spend our lives immersed in said stuff and manage to fly a few hundred thousand miles a year chasing it, one might assume that we’d have bumped in to some very special pieces along the way.
After having seen some really compelling possibilities and fueled by our motto of wine as a grocery, not a luxury we have decided to go for it.
So, we’re taking on two icons, two California classics; Chardonnay and Cabernet. Long the standard bearers of quality in Cali, these two have become perhaps a bit big for their britches, a tad expensive and those oaky, heavy styles even a bit long in the tooth. We want to be the opposite of all that is wrong with most of these wines and instead do right by Chardonnay and Cabernet in the Golden State.