2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Simone Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Oak Knoll District
As the Croze fly
Today’s Croze 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay was the surprise hit of our most recent tasting panel. This wine, which hails from Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll District is one of the most exciting - and delicious- Chardonnays we’ve shown in some time.
This wine was made from Oak Knoll fruit, sur lie and without malolactic fermentation which all combine to make this one complex, delicious and fun wine.
Let’s unpack sur lie and malolactic, shall we?
Sur lie means on the lees. In winemaking, the lees are the deposits of fruit or even residual yeast that reside at the bottom of a vessel (like a wine barrel or tank) of wine after fermentation and aging.
Instead of moving these deposits (by “racking” them, in winemaking lingo) the winemaker leaves the wine on the lees to give a wine added character, by allowing it to take up additional flavor.
Malolactic fermentation, (a method which this wine does not undergo) is winemaking process in which tart-tasting malic acid, which is naturally present in freshly pressed juice, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. This fermentation process is most often performed after the end of the primary fermentation.
The process is conventional for most red wine production and common for Chardonnay, where it can impart a “buttery” flavor. A non malolactic Chardonnay is most often characterized as being bright and crisp on the palate.
Today’s Croze Chardonnay is a bright and complex wine, to be sure, but it is also quite approachable and oh, so tasty!
Thanks to the winery’s sur lie aging, this wine has a really heady scent, with aromas of Meyer Lemon, pineapple, lemon bars, lemon curd, vanilla, apricot, brioche, lemongrass and subtle white spice.
The wine spills onto the palate, with flavors of Meyer lemon, lemongrass, grilled lemon slice, white flowers, soft white spice, dried apricot, vanilla, lemon custard, lime leaf and very subtle white pepper.
This wine hails from the Oak Knoll District of the broader Napa Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). Oak Knoll is located within Napa Valley AVA at the southern end of the valley floor. The appellation’s close proximity to San Pablo Bay results in a climate that is cooler and more moderate than any region in Napa Valley - other than the Los Carneros AVA , where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive.
The Oak Knoll AVA has more area under vine than any other wholly contained appellation within the Napa Valley. The district is planted largely to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Oak Knoll was officially designated an appellation within the Napa Valley AVA on April 26, 2004.
We offer you this fresh, inviting, budget-friendly wine with our boldest recommendation. Enjoy now. Save some for the holidays!
Lovely light golden hues, from the perfectly clear heart of the wine out to the light-catching edges.
Meyer Lemon, pineapple, lemon bars, lemon curd, vanilla, apricot, brioche, lemongrass and subtle white spice.
Meyer lemon, lemongrass, grilled lemon slice, white flowers, soft white spice, dried apricot, vanilla, lemon custard, lime leaf and very subtle white pepper.
After a bold cascade of fruit, flowers and spice, the wine fades very gradually, eventually drying the edges of the palate.
Enjoy this flavorful Chardonnay with grilled chicken, smoked salmon, or an assortment of hard cheeses and fruits.
What the Winery Says
- Daniel Benton
- Napa Valley, Oak Knoll district
- 13 months
- French oak
- 300 cases