May 22 was National Chardonnay Day; a day where wine drinkers all over lifted a glass of chardonnay to thank the illustrious grape for all the joy it has provided wine lovers. Once again there was a virtual celebration on Twitter. All were invited to participate in a thirty minute chat sponsored by Wente Vineyards by following #ChardDay or #WenteChard to learn more about Wente’s chardonnays and to toast the day. In preparation of the joyful event I went to Total Wine and purchased a bottle of Wente’s Riva Ranch Chardonnay for $13.99.
Wente Vineyards 2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay: The wine is a soft golden color that meets the nose with fragrant tropical fruits mixed with vanilla and floral notes. The RRV Chardonnay took some time to open but once it did it delivered pineapple, mango, lemons and coconut with honey, butter and vanilla ending with a nice oakiness. The acidity is well balanced with a touch of light tannins, making this an excellent wine to pair with food. Overall I found the Wente 2012 RR Chardonnay to carry a soft creamy texture and the right amount of oak to add depth without overpowering the fruit. I paired the Wente 2012 RR Chardonnay with a scrumptious pasta dish. The pasta dish consisted of basically left-overs from the week: chicken, uncured Italian salami sautéed with a mixture of chopped leeks, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, and garlic tossed in basil pesto and topped with creamy goat cheese. The pasta dish paired well with the wine. The savory flavors of the pasta dish with the creaminess of the goat cheese was a lovely pairing with the acidity of the wine while balancing out some of the sweetness of the fruit, vanilla and honey, leaving the taste buds calling for more. The versatility of this wine makes for easy food pairings such as shrimp scampi, pork chops, eggs Benedict (breakfast for dinner is the best!) and nicoise salad.
The Wente 2012 RR Chardonnay is barrel fermented in French, American, Eastern European, and neutral oak. Furthermore, Wente ferments a small portion of the wine in stainless steel and blended in to enhance the fruit character. After fermentation it is aged for 8 months in French, American, Eastern European, and neutral oak. The wine contains 13.5% alcohol. As stated by Wente on Twitter during #ChardDay chat: “Oak is a key component of Chardonnay…but as always, I want the fruit to be the lead horse in the race.” Wente did an excellent job upholding their philosophy in the RRV Chardonnay. This was a lovely Chardonnay and I definitely recommend it. To find this wine near you click here.
Wente Vineyards was the first California winery to produce a wine labeled as Chardonnay in 1936; therefore, it seemed like the perfect wine to celebrate National Chardonnay Day. The Riva Ranch Chardonnay is located in Arroyo Seco in Monterey; widely regarded as one of the best places to grow California Chardonnay. The cool climate and the gravel nature of the soil in Arroyo Seco result in chardonnay that is perfectly balanced between sugar and acidity; well represented in the Wente 2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay. Furthermore, Wente shares my passion for pairing wine with music! Click here for a list of their upcoming summer concert series. I encourage you to visit Wente Vineyard’s web site to learn more about the winery and see their entire portfolio of wines!
My Song Selection: The song I selected to pair with the Wente 2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay is Michael Franti’s Say Hey (I Love You). It is an upbeat song with lots of energy and fun that is perfect for a celebration. Furthermore, the song has an island rhythm that makes you want to dance. It is a perfect pairing for an upbeat wine with tropical fruit flavors in celebration of the Chardonnay Day!
Get your own Wente Vineyard’s 2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay and let me know what song you would pair with it. Cheers!