Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: ***+ $$ Moniker Chardonnay, Mendocino County, California, 2012 = GOOD VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Moniker Chardonnay.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Moniker Wines are a line of Mendocino County, California, wines provided by the Thornhill family and vinted by winemaker Mark Beaman.

Original tasting and review : This is Moniker Chardonnay, Mendocino County, California, 2012, finished at 13.5% alcohol, and made primarily from grapes grown at La Ribera, the Thornhill family home vineyard.  La Ribera is based along the Russian River, well north of Sonoma.  The chardonnay enjoyed four months of sur lie aging in American oak barrels and was provided for tasting by an agent of the winery.

In the glass: Clear, quite pale vanilla yellow cast.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows crisp pear and apple, hints of stainless steel.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bright and tangy.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact rounder, more fragrant and layered than anticipated.  This likely comes from the balanced aging sur lie combined with some oak.   Nicely softens the overall bright fruit without removing any verve and vivacity.  Flavors of fresh pear and apple do come through on the palate, paying off the aromas.  Finish stays clean and low-key.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars with a big plus for comfortable balance on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  This will be a little tricky to find commercial, but rates a good value if you can do so.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Moniker Chardonnay.

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