Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mendocino Vineyards Mendocino County Chardonnay, 2009

When I first started getting interested in wine in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I bought a lot of wines from Mendocino County--Fetzer and Edmeades are the names that come to mind. I bought them because they were cheaper than wines from Napa and Sonoma and offered a lot of pleasure for the money. I still have a bottle of the 1979 Edmeades Anderson Valley Cabernet, purchased for $8. The last bottle I tasted a few years ago was excellent and holding up well. Now, of course, Anderson Valley has forged a high-end reputation, particularly for Pinot Noir and Alsace-type whites.

Mendocino Vineyards, as far as I can tell, must be a second label of another winery; I can find no mention of it online except for this particular wine. It's made from 100% organically grown grapes, which might link it to Yorkville Cellars or Frei. The grapes did not come from the Anderson Valley but from nearby areas of Mendocino that probably have higher average temperatures during the growing season but are still cool enough to produce a fresh, zesty Chardonnay. Medium deep gold. Smells of citrus and apple. Bright and cool. Some tropical fruit on the palate. Chablis-like in style, and I suspect the wine will get even better in the coming months.

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