Terra Sávia 2009 Chardonnay, Mendocino County

Courtesy Terra Sávia

Type: Dry white

What makes it special: Chardonnay without the oak or butter

Plays well with: Chicken, light sauces, cheeses, salads, light fish dishes

This 2009 chardonnay has a fresh clean nose – it basically smells like a nice crisp chardonnay is “supposed” to. Well, that’s depending on how you feel about chardonnays, in general.

The controversy over the whole chard thing is that wines made from the chardonnay grape can be fermented a couple different ways. There’s the old traditional French style, which includes inducing something called malo-lactic fermentation and then aging the wine in oak barrels for a while. You can find out more about malo-lactic on our new definitions page here. Unfortunately, that style got way over-used during the 1990s, resulting in chardonnays with way oaky flavor and almost greasy butteriness. In short, too much of a good thing.

So, nowadays, there’s fairly big trend toward fermenting and aging chardonnay in the big steel tanks other white wines are made in, resulting in a much crisper wine with slightly more acid. Which the Terra Sávia 09 chard has big time because it was made without oak.

The weight of the wine in the mouth is a medium sort with a nice texture. The apple and melon flavors show it off as the cool-region chardonnay that it is. There’s a good balance of acids, complementing the flavors and mouthfeel. Do a nice sole in parchment packets to go with this one. Or maybe some grilled chicken.

You can get this and other Terra Sávia wines at the winery website, www.terrasavia.com.

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