by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
In just a few weeks, we will be bottling many wines. Last week, I mentioned our dessert wines that will be bottled. This week, I am sharing our Chardonnay wines. We will have three: 2016 Amber Chardonnay, 2016 Renaissance Chardonnay and 2015 Emmie’s Blend (Chardonnay, Muscat and Albarino).
The first wine I am going to mention is our 2016 Amber Chardonnay. Each vintage has become even more fantastic than the year before. This is truly a remarkable wine that everyone must try. Five years ago, an article inspired us to create this skin-contact Chardonnay. It was so inspiring that it is now our tradition to produce our estate Chardonnay in this style. This is a unique wine that was made in a similar method to the Georgian wines called “Orange” or “Amber” wines. Those wines are normally fermented and aged in clay vessels called qvevri. After fermenting in the skins, just like red wines, we aged this estate Chardonnay in French oak barrels for 20 months.
Our estate Chardonnay captures the essence of Reyes Vineyard with stunning fresh acidity and minerality. By picking the grapes on the perfect day, we can obtain a skin-contact Chardonnay that is bright and well- balanced, with great concentration of fruit. The nose is soft, yet elegant, with complex aromas of apricots and kumquats and a hint of floral developing in the glass. Delectable flavors of stone fruits and citrus supported by a perfect balance of oak soften the bright acid, giving way to a lingering finish. Enjoy this chilled with a shrimp creole and dirty rice, as well as pecan pie for dessert.
Secondly, our 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Winery Chardonnay has delightful aromas of citrus, lemon zest and a hint of grapefruit. It was aged in French oak for 20 months, creating a multi-layered and complex wine. It is rich on the palate and filled with notes of tangerines and quince. Enjoy it chilled with grilled spicy salmon topped with a grapefruit salsa or a citrus salad.
Last is our 2015 Emmie’s Blend. It is a limited-edition blend of estate Chardonnay and Muscat with locally sourced Albarino. It has a beautiful floral aroma of light citrus notes. It is well-balanced with the right acidity. This wine pairs with baked brie, an apple compote or chevre with lavender.
Every year we have an event at the vineyard for guests to see the bottling process. It will be January 5 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. It’s $49 per person and it includes lunch, a glass of wine, a tour of the bottling line and you get to take home a freshly-bottled wine.
Come try our current 2015 Amber Chardonnay this month in the Reyes Winery tasting room, and don’t forget, it makes the perfect holiday gift!