This post has been brought to you by Landmark Vineyards. All opinions expressed are my own. The following message is intended for those 21+. Please enjoy responsibly.
Today we’re reviewing a 2018 Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley located in Sonoma County, California, courtesy of Landmark Vineyards.
The Where – Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
It goes without saying that California is, far and away, the single most important, profitable, and prolific wine region in the Americas, and Sonoma County is in turn – arguably – the single most important area within that region. Sonoma County itself is divided into a number of sub-regions, including Northern Sonoma, Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma Coast, and, of course, the Russian River Valley, among others.
One of America’s best rated AVAs (American vinicultural area), the Russian River Valley is located near the center of Sonoma County itself. Dominated by its namesake river, the Russian River Valley has some of the lowest temperatures and densest fog of California’s wine regions. This comparative coolness, and moistening fog, results in a slow ripening period and a famously long growing season. This promotes complexity amongst its wines, complexity which manifests particularly well in the region’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
However, the Russian River Valley isn’t wholly dominated by low temperatures and fog. Instead, the valley features a particularly warm northern quadrant, where Pinot Noir gives way to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In the central and southern portions of the valley, cooling coastal breezes dominate, while the the Goldridge Series feature more ‘characteristic’ Sonoma County traits, particularly well-drained soils and loose sandstone.
The Bottle – A Showcase
Today, we’re taking a look at the Landmark Vineyard’s 2018 Overlook Chardonnay:
Aromatics and Tasting – The Review
The 2018 Overlook Chardonnay introduces itself with a crisp bouquet featuring damp lemon zest, sliced golden apple essence, and something ‘sweet’ lingering in the background. The lemon zest morphs into zesty citrus deeper into the glass, while the ‘sweetness’ retreats into pleasant tropic fruit notes. These aromatics are framed in oak notes throughout. On the palate, the wine is quite bright and crisp, with lemon zest and golden apples dominating the flavor profile, but with noticeable oak laced throughout, carried on a medium body with a lasting and refreshing finish. This was a very enjoyable experience from beginning to end.
What to Eat – The Pairing
Think white bodied fish crusted in fresh herbs. You can also opt for light starters and light pasta dishes. In terms of starters, think of antipasto boards featuring things like marinated cheese, toasted nuts, and light seafood starters, such as my Marinated Cheese Board. Conversely, you might consider lightly grilled chicken, particularly if you’re preparing it with fresh herbs and lemon, such as my Cayenne Chicken Strips, which I drizzled with a Balsamic Glaze.
For the Enthusiasts Among You
The Vivino App and Website. This is an app that I’ve been using for years now. This is one of those ‘must have’ tools that you’ll find in the pocket of pretty much every expert, professional, and enthusiast. Now, what does Vivino do? What makes it a ‘must have’ wine tool? It tracks prices, gives reviews from experts and consumers alike, it has painstakingly thorough food pairing resources, it allows you to search for wine by region, in addition to giving the latest info and stats on those regions, and…well, you get the idea. It’s essentially a ‘global sommelier in your pocket.’ If you want to be able to look for wine like an expert, without needing to actually ‘be’ an expert, this app is for you. I’ve been using it for years, and it has helped me immensely. Give it a try, you won’t regret it, I promise.
Have you Tried it? Have you tried today’s wine, or prepared today’s recipe? If so, we would love to hear from you! Give us a shout out on Instagram or Facebook with a picture of what you prepared, or let us know down below in the comments how it turned out! We can’t wait to hear from you!