Clos La Chance Glittering-Throated Emerald Unoaked Chardonnay 2005 Tasting Notes
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Clos La Chance Glittering-Throated Emerald Unoaked Chardonnay 2005 Tasting Notes

This excellent $12-15 Monterrey County Chardonnay comes proudly unoaked and hence, unsurprisingly, it yields a great deal of stimulating fruit, and lets some pleasant minerality shine through. The wine doesn't need the oak. It starts with a pleasant spritz that well complements the steady acidity of the fruit, and you keep finding fruit: melon, peach and grapefruit on the nose, lime, peach, and apricot on the palate, with a nice finish of sustained tropical fruits like kiwi, banana and mango.

This is a great break from the buttery over-oaked Chardonnays we are used to from California, and it also doesn't fall prey to the excess residual sugar ploy used by so many producers of taste-alike Chardonnays to fob off what is essentially soda pop on the American populace. At the same time, the wine is hardly restrained—it's a lot of fun with a great deal of honest fruit—and hence it has “California” written all over it, but in the best way: as an expression of the land, the soil and the sun.


Verdict: An Impressive Effort
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What the French call “terroir” I like to call “place,” since I think the English language is up to any task. Either way, California has got it, but it doesn't always use it.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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