Chardonnay is certainly a grape that takes well to the barrel. But it is equally enjoyable when oak is avoided and the wine is presented in its simplest expression. I find Saracina a beautiful example of this. Crisp with bright layers of ripe pear, honey and quince, it is fresh on the palate and leaves a soft floral note from the dash of Viognier in the mix. Pure and lovely, this wine can be savored as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to a variety of light- to medium-bodied dishes.
|In 2001, almost a decade after selling Fetzer Winery to Brown-Forman, John Fetzer and his wife Patty Rock created Saracina in Mendocino. Keeping the same focus on organic, sustainable practices that made them famous, they also hired renowned winemaker David Ramey to help them see their vision through. The Chardonnay is sourced in Mendocino from CCOF-certified-organic estate vines. Malolactic fermentation is omitted completely, heightening the wine's fresh quality.
|Aside from drinking this Chardonnay by itself, which is a delight, it would pair wonderfully with slightly aromatic seafood dishes. Try it with pan roasted tilapia or, even better, sautéed shrimp with Pernod sauce. Its clean and lively fruit makes it a very approachable companion, and the subtle floral nuances on the finish would greatly enhance the aromatics of the Pernod.