2014 L'Oliveto Barrel Fermented Russian River Valley Chardonnay
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
Today’s wine is offered to you with our strongest recommendation, dear Operative! This is one that you should really stock up on. If you’re a fan of L’Oliveto’s Pinot Noir, which you know delivers incredible value, you’ll flip over today’s budget-friendly Chardonnay.
We’ve been (not so patiently) waiting for L’Oliveto to follow up on their smash hit Pinot from earlier this year - and they’ve done it… in style! Today’s Brack Mountain 2014 L’Oliveto Barrel Fermented Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a truly impressive, uber delicious, ultra-QPR (Quality to price ratio) wine.
This wine is a wonder on the nose, with inviting aromas of golden delicious apple, Asian pear, butterscotch, pineapple, vanilla, lemongrass, white tea and a hint of subtle white spice. On the palate, that barrel fermentation really lends so much flavor and character, with wonderful flavors of Meyer lemon, pineapple, lemon leaf, butterscotch, lemongrass, slate mineral and a touch of subtle white spice.
Today’s wine was made by Dan Fitzgerald, who rose to fame in the ranks of Pinot powerhouses Robert Sinskey Vineyards and Williams-Selyem Winery. We’ve featured many of Dan’s wines, but today’s offers the best price to performance of any of his Chardonnays. Yes, Dan makes beautiful $60 Chardonnays, but this wine delivers so much for such a low price that we just can’t help but gush about the value that it delivers. Honestly, we think that this wine could easily justify a $36 price tag.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
96 Points - Christopher Sawyer - ”Oh, how the styles of wine change over time. A quarter century ago, if you heard sommeliers, wine connoisseurs or consumers use descriptors like “sweet,” “buttery” and “oaky,” chances are they were talking about one of the popular styles of Chardonnay that began flooding the US marketplace in the late 1980s. But luckily, as the appreciation for this noble grape progressed between then and now, more emphasis has now shifted on capturing the true flavors of the fruit, the character of vineyard, and making sure that the use of fine oak barrels is in balance instead of dominate.
One of the talented winemakers involved in this modern movement is Daniel Fitzgerald, who made his current release of the L’Oliveto 2014 Chardonnay with premium fruit from three special sites in Russian River Valley. To preserve the fresh flavors inside the bottle, Daniel uses only 33% new oak and larger size barrels (228-liter barriques and 500-liter puncheons). The end result is a lovely wine with lovely light golden hue and true Russian River character.
In the glass, the wine opens up with lively aromas of ripe stone fruits, crisp apple, fresh citrus, honeysuckle, chamomile tea and toasted hazelnuts. On the palate, the vivid flavors of ripe pear, white peach, lemon tart, fresh quince, nutmeg and mineral are supported by a creamy texture, tangy acidity, and a smooth, luxurious finish. Elegance and sophistication in ever sip.
Food pairing suggestions: fresh burrata cheese; gourmet salads with zesty citrus-infused vinaigrette; hand-made pasta with white sauce, chanterelle mushrooms and fresh herbs; white pan-seared scallops with fresh lemon; roasted turkey with dried fruit stuffing; pork tenderloin stuffed with spicy pear chutney.”
brilliant light golden hues through a perfectly translucent core.
This wine is a wonder on the nose, with inviting aromas of golden delicious apple, Asian pear, butterscotch, pineapple, vanilla, lemongrass, white tea and a hint of subtle white spice.
Meyer lemon, pineapple, lemon leaf, butterscotch, lemongrass, slate mineral and a touch of subtle white spice.
As fruits fade, butterscotch, lemon leaf, and soft white spice persist even longer, ultimately concluding with a very plush dryness at the gums, lips, and cheeks. Very dynamic and very delicious through and through.
We recommend that this very food friendly wine be paired with a big plate of chicken kabobs with tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and pineapple chunks!
What the Winery Says
- Dan Fitzgerald
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
- Harvest Date
- September 12th-28th, 2014
- 33% New French Oak
- June 2015