Not Your Average California Chardonnay

Not Your Average California Chardonnay

Beautiful, single-vineyard Carneros wine

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California Chardonnay receives a bum rap from some. Stereotypes exist everywhere and they need to stop. Not all California Chardonnay is big, buttery, oaky and thick, but that’s the stereotype. Let’s look at one today. It’s B.R. Cohn’s single-vineyard Chardonnay, from the Carneros region of Sonoma County. All the grapes come from the Sangiacomo Vineyard. This wine is no cookie-cutter product. Not a hint of cardboard or overwhelming toasted oak that make many Chardonnays taste more like scotch. Your first thought is heavenly fruit, not butter or butterscotch. This has the kind of fruit that thrives on 70% new Burgundian French oak and 30% 1-year-old barrels. The result is beauty, at a terrific price, and will change the hearts of the “Anything But Chardonnay” crowd.

2015 B.R. Cohn Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyard $30 srp

Blazing yellow-golden color. Bright, uplifting sun-kissed apple/pear-like fruit bolts from the glass. It’s all ripeness and fruit essences. Flavors are succulent and rounded with a brisk, mouth-watering sensation. Creamy texture but with a “crunchy” refreshing bite. Gobs of spicy apple and pear with warm, structured underpinning and a long “coiled spring” aftertaste. Fabulous now with poultry, salmon or a lentil-based preparation. Or savor alone.

94/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.