Our Selection for Wine of the Week November 15, 2010
Napa Valley Chardonnay Franciscan Estate
2007 Chardonnay Cuvée Sauvage Carneros, California
Franciscan has been a fixture on the Napa Valley horizon for over three decades. The winery began as a producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, concentrating on making wine from small lots of grapes blended after fermentation. This interest in blending led the winery to introduce their first Bordeaux blend in 1985 and it was a turning point that truly put Franciscan on the international map. Today the winery produces Cab, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as their two most acclaimed wines: the aforementioned Bordeaux blend and a wild fermented Chardonnay called Cuvée Sauvage. The 2007 Cuvée Sauvage is made from cool climate Carneros fruit. On the nose, the wine offers pear, lemon, toast and honey aromas. In the mouth, a rich blend of pear, honey and toasted marshmallow is cut by citrus acidity and a faint mineral note on the finish. The wine has an attractively oily texture and nice weight. It will pair well with turkey and all the trimmings but is full-bodied enough to also work with lamb shank, fatty tuna or seared duck. The Chard's toasty notes would also make a fine counterpoint to baked brie.