Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, California
Cost: $23-26
What: Sonoma Cutrer has been making great chardonnay for 30 years, and this is another fine example of the classic California style. If you like rich, buttery chardonnay, this is the one for you. The aroma is flowers, citrus, ginger and maybe a little cedar. Apple, pineapple, lemon are the tastes that jump out when you drink the wine. It’s a well-balanced wine, with a solid acid base to hold up to the second, or maloactic, fermentation that gives the wine it’s buttery smoothness. It has a long, lingering, pleasant finish.
The Winery: When Sonoma-Cutrer began in 1973 they planted several grape varieties in marginal land that later became known as the Sonoma Coast Appellation. The area is ideal for growing chardonnay because the cool breezes and fog from the ocean allow a long growing season with modest temperature fluctuations. The owners decided to focus only on producing world class chardonnay, though they now also make a little pinot noir. They also take pride in a cutting-edge winery and a series of production innovations.
Goes with: A great complement to poultry, shellfish and vegetables. Ideal with goat cheese or sheeps’ milk cheese, or a hearty cheese. Wonderful for sipping while sitting in front of a fire before dinner, especially if you bring some steamed shrimp with you.

Reach Dennis Sodomka at Read his column on gifts for wine lovers in the November/December issue of Augusta Magazine.

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