Follow the Buyer! William Leonard-Lee
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William's Bio

Buyer of: California Chardonnay

For twenty years, William has played a role in the food and wine industry. A Boston native with extensive experience in fine dining, he came to New York with his chef/wife Lisa in 2004 eager to explore the offerings of New York City and its world-class culinary pedigree. Since then, he immersed himself in Italian wines, running Vino Italian Wine and Spirits, one of the city’s most respected boutique wine shops and became the Wine and Beverage Director of iTrulli Restaurant. With an Advanced Certificate (WSET) from the International Wine Center, William continues to constantly explore the marriage of wine and food with his wife as they travel and entertain friends and family, and participate in the occasional underground supper-club.

“I am thrilled to be participating in the wide world of wine at a time when the amount of quality choice all around is truly unprecedented. I love a wine most when it reflects a sense of place. I am excited to see the widening trend towards making sustainable, organic and biodynamic product, though ultimately I don’t believe it to be the only prerequisite for making a ‘good’ wine.”

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William's Wine Selection - Foxen Chardonnay Block UU - Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012


Bring on spring with this delicate Chardonnay from a minimalist California winery.

Food Pairing Why I Bought This The Story

If you are in the chilly Northeast as I am right now, I suggest doing everything you can to bring on some springtime action! Sautéed sea scallops with ginger, garlic, peas and a touch of soy would make it seem sunny and 70 degrees in no time. Served with Jasmine rice (my favorite), the floral notes of the rice and clean approach of this simple dish would highlight and complement the delicate character of this delicious Chardonnay.

I was struck by the complexity and finesse of this wine. A medium-bodied Chardonnay sourced from the beloved Bien Nacido hills of Santa Maria Valley, Foxen’s UU Block possesses exceptional aromas of sweet herb, tropical fruit and mineral that carry throughout to combine with lime citrus, soft spice and a very clean finish. This wine has it together completely right now. The only reason I could possibly call it young is because I cannot wait to taste it in three years time.

Founded by Bill Wathen and Dick Doré (aka the “Foxen Boys”), Foxen winery sits on the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in southern Santa Maria Valley. The winery takes its name from Dick’s great-great grandfather William Benjamin Foxen, an English sea captain who settled in the area and purchased the land in 1837. A sustainable, low-yield, minimal-intervention operation since the beginning, Foxen became solar powered in 2009 and has consistently produced outstanding wines. They acquire fruit not only from their Tinaquaic Vineyard estate in Santa Maria Valley, but also from some of the best situated sites in Santa Barbara, including Bien Nacido (Santa Maria Valley), Seasmoke Vineyard (Santa Rita Hills) and Williamson-Doré Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley).

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