Ron Rubin Winery, Pam’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2020 | California, USA

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the Week – Chardonnay | November 29, 2021

Chardonnay is the most famous white grape varietal in the world. It is cultivated in many countries around the world and found its origin in Burgundy, France. DNA shows that it is a direct descendant of Pinot Noir, coupled with another old grape: Gouais Blanc. This means that we can reject the theory that the grape originates from the Middle East.

Chardonnay does not make high demands on the soil and the climate. Yields can range widely but high quality Chardonnays will be produced when yields are kept low. The soil and the microclimate will also determine the suitability for barrel fermentation and aging.

In France, Chardonnay is mainly found in Burgundy, particularly in the Côte d’Or where it produces great wines (Meursault, Montrachet), in the Côte de Beaune and Chablis where this grape varietal appreciates the clay-limestone soil. Chardonnay is also grown in Champagne, mainly in the Côtes des Blancs (a Blanc de Blancs Champagne is made only from Chardonnay). It is also found in the Jura, Languedoc and Alsace.

Besides France, Chardonnay is produced in all the major wine regions of the world: Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, California, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and many other countries.

The grape has a huge potential and allows full expression of the winemaker and the climate where it is grown. In colder climates, Chardonnay will tend to give dry and fresh wines with notes of citrus and apples. In warmer climates, the wines will be richer with a more exotic aroma and flavor palate. Finally, in temperate climates, Chardonnay will express itself in a bouquet of flowers (acacias) and a range of white fruit. A passage in oak barrels can bring toasted notes and spices such as vanilla to the wine. It will also have the virtue of giving depth to the wine and allowing it a better balance with the acidity of the wine and therefore greater aging potential.

Forty years of pursuing a dream would deter most people, but not Ron Rubin. His dream of owning a winery began in college at UC Davis when he was 22 years old. Although it took him to the age of 62 to achieve his dream, today The Rubin Family of Wines strikes the right balance of people, patience, location, sustainability and quality to craft beautiful wines. It was the discovery of a hidden gem, a small 10 acres, which lead to the pursuit of Ron’s 40-year-old dream.

Ron Rubin Winery, Pam’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay, California 2020

Origin: Clarksburg, Lodi and Mendocino County, California, USA
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Sustainability: certified sustainable practices
Suggested Retail Price: $15
ABV: 12.5%

Ron’s wife, Pam, does not like most Chardonnay based wines…too oaky, buttery, fruity and rich. So, Ron and his winemaker collaborated on a style that Pam loves in all white wines: crisp, light and a good touch of fruitiness.

The wine shows a transparent, pale yellow color. Aromas of Asian pear, flower blossoms, ripe citrus and apple unfold in the nose. The palate reveals guava, pear and stone fruit with a citrus zing on the finish.

Suggested food pairings: charcuterie, poultry, pork, meaty fish and shellfish, cheeses.

> For more information, visit the Ron Rubin Winery official website.