This flight features 2 Best of Class Winners in the Fair. The first is the BOC Chardonnay under $20, which came up through our panel of judges. The third wine is the BOC Chardonnay above $20 that went on to take the sweeps. In between is a star from Burgundy for contrast and benchmarking.
Benziger Carneros Chardonnay 2006
This wine was a standout of the 53 wines assessed on morning number one. It showed well in the sweeps round as well. My notes include minerality, oak and butter in a balanced mix that embraces green apple acidity – good value. Good on the Benziger’s for this win. They have been staunch leaders in the biodynamic movement in Northern California. V&B in Oakville 13.5% $12.99 at Traverso’s Benziger
Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroye 1er Cru 2005
Full of minerality and still quite tight. This is sourced from a a vineyard that the domaine owns exclusively. The Cornut family has run this property since 1940. Jeanne-Marie de Champs was kind enough to introduce me to Jean-Pierre Cornut in the spring of 1998. Over the decade he has steadily advanced the quality and acclaim of the wines. Fortunately they are finding wider distribution and availability in our home of Sonoma County 13.3% $59.99 at Bottle Barn
Clos du Bois Russian River Valley Calcaire Chardonnay 2005
During the Sweepstake’s round of judging, my notes were: a balanced Chardonnay where there is oak, acid and length. During the balloting, I picked this as one of my top three whites. So often Chardonnay from California in the higher price brackets is laden with excessive oak and butter. This wine didn’t go there. During the second taste at the Harvest Fair Stars class, this wine started with some green bean notes that did blow off. The wine showed very oaky but I think that will integrate. The acidity certainly keeps it fresh. 100% barrel fermented in 63% new Fr oak, ML and aged sur lie for 8 mos with battonage every 3 weeks. P&B Geyserville 14.5% $17.99 at Traverso’s Clos du Bois