Chardonnay on a Sunday! My favorite way to enjoy a cool glass of oaky, creamy goodness in the fall. The start of squash season, root vegetables on the table with roasted meats and pots of fall soups. Chardonnay, in my home, is really part of the fall season. It’s not just a chilled summer white…as a matter of fact, most people drink their Chardonnay too cold, loosing that lovely warmth and flavor you get when it’s slightly closer to room temperature, lending it’s flavors to our fall table, very well. What better way to say hello to fall than to open a bottle of Napa Valley Chardonnay from Franciscan Estate. Franciscan Estates Winery has been producing Chardonnay for years. It’s one of their backbone wines. The Chardonnay grapes come from cooler vineyards near the actual town of Napa in the Carneros region bordering San Pablo Bay. There they have a 17-acre estate vineyard where clay and gravel soils result in grapes with astounding structure and minerality. Franciscan Estates Napa Valley Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay. It does see oak in its fermenting and aging process, but don’t let that be an assumption it’s a “oak” bomb! It’s an incredibly balanced Chardonnay.
The color on the Franciscan Estate Chardonnay is a classic golden yellow. Elegant to look at. Swirling in the glass, your nose will get a bit of oak and cream with hints of pear, apple, honeysuckle and rosemary floral notes. Very addicting! I think I kept swirling and sniffing for over 10 minutes until I realized I had not taken a sip! Once I sipped the wine… amazing. Apple and lemon hit my tongue first with woody notes of oak, but not over powering at all. A little butter and a full mouth feel. Incredible long finish of citrus notes mixed with a little vanilla.
I paired this wine with a nice, fall Sunday dinner of Herbed Roasted Pork Shoulder; Roasted Apple Gravy and Rice Pilaf. The Franciscan Estate Chardonnay paired exquisitely! I’m giving the Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay a FOUR BOTTLE rating. It’s a great price of $18.00 per bottle and is an amazing wine on its own or with your fall food table. It’s case worthy for sure.
Franciscan Estates Winery says it best with their philosophy of wines and winemaking…”DEVOTION TO WINES OF TRUE CHARACTER”. They strive to create wines of the highest character and excellence in every vintage and every bottle. I think they’ve got it down. Well done Franciscan Estates!
** Sample courtesy of Folsom & Associates **