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Chardonnay is making a comeback and this one is a keeper

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This spring, Chardonnay is making a comeback—people who claimed they would never drink a Callifornia Chardonnay again, will be drinking their words this year.

What is your perfect Chardonnay? If you said California made that’s full-bodied with hints of buttery oak but not overblown at great price that is also food-friendly, you will find it in Trefethen Double T Chardonnay.

Trefethen is one of Napa Valley’s top Chardonnay producers, their Chardonnay vineyard sits in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, close to the marine influence of San Francisco Bay but with a different mineral and terroir component than the Chardonnay stronghold of Carneros.

This winery is strongly committed to being good stewards of the land and practices sustainable farming from using soy-based biodiesel fuels; recycling all winery waste water to irrigate vineyards and curtailing water usage; instituting sustainable methods to remove weeds and prevent mildew; recycling all pomace (skins, seeds, stems) as compost; early morning harvesting to cool the juice naturally; restoring riparian areas to maintain and enhance aquatic and wildlife habitats and practicing natural pest control through the fostering of barn owl and bat boxes. All of these techniques, they believe, help them make a better bottle of wine. One taste of Double T and you will be a believer as well.

The winery website says of Double T “This little sister of our internationally successful Trefethen Chardonnay is made with fruit from our younger vines . . . it’s a little less complex than its world-class sibling, but has a lot of Trefethen family charm.

Charming it is indeed. Delightful aromas of citrus, peach and nectarine highlight bright tropical and floral nuances in this classic Chard. It fills the palate with honeysuckle, apple, pear and lemon zest. There is a suppleness, a beautifully balanced texture of firm peaches and citrus rounded out with a textural mouthful of apricots in cream. Yet, there are subtle hints of spice as well as ripe apple, pear
and lemon blossom. The bright fruit is augmented by judicious use of French oak barrels-lending notes of graham cracker and baking spices while enhancing the full-bodied mouthfeel. All of the above leads us to a crisp, slightly spicy and zesty mineral finish.

While this wine has seen some oak, it is not detectable in either the aromatics or flavors. This is an attractive, mid-weight,clean, zesty Chardonnay to drink over the next several years. This Chardonnay is as good as Chardonnay can get; it's the sort of easy-drinking Chardonnay that shows how the varietal can ease into a touch of oak and savor the gentle toast and texture that comes with it. This polished Napa Chardonnay is delightful with seafood, lemon herb-roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes, and foods seasoned with a bit of tarragon…or just for sipping!

You can find this Chardonnay at Circus Wines/Spirits Unlimited, 835 State Highway 35, Middletown, NJ 07748.

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