Dry and crisp on the palate, this refreshing Chardonnay has guava, tangerine, papaya and lemon flavors with notes of vanilla, cream and banana. Its perfectly proportioned acidity keeps the wine bright and vibrant with pleasing aromas of mango, plantain and cinnamon.
Mango, papaya, lemon and clove.
The Apaltagua winery, located in the prestigious Apalta region in central Chile's Colchagua Valley, is best known for a missionary-like zeal in its dedication to the Carmenère grape, which finds its best expression in Chile. Fruit for this wonderful Chardonnay comes from the cooler-climate Casablanca Valley to the north, where the grapes benefit from the strong maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean. Winemaker álvaro Espinoza is considered a true pioneer--he's single-handedly responsible for introducing biodynamic viticulture into South America. His interest comes thanks to a sabbatical to California in 1998 when he had lots of contact with the Fetzer wine family and Alan York, a well-known biodynamic consultant.
Chardonnay's subtle flavors are easily overwhelmed by spice, so serve this wine with mildly flavored shellfish, fish or white meat dishes. Sauces or embellishments with a gentle squeeze of acidity will be nicely balanced by the crispness of the wine. Conversely, the wine's acidity can cut through the richness of butter and cream sauces; just remember to keep the flavorings subtle. Of course Chardonnay and roast chicken are easy companions, so consider my recipe for Pollo al Mattone, which is a take on the classic chicken cooked under a brick. It brings back memories of my childhood. Serve with a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread. Dip the bread in a side of extra-virgin olive oil drizzled with a few drops of Balsamic vinegar.
Now one of the most respected winemakers in Chile, álvaro Espinoza works as a consultant for several other Chilean producers. He was one of the first winemakers to establish a reputation for quality Carmenère, which many believe finds its best expression in Chile.