Valley Gate Napa Valley Chardonnay 2012
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Valley Gate Vineyards 2012 NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Napa Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.90%
A really nice Napa Chard from Valley Gate and their well regarded winemaker Nori Nakamura. Nori graduated UC Davis with a degree in viticulture and I have followed his career from Pine Ridge to Artesa Vineyards and Reata. He is personable and is a skilled winemaker. I recently met with him at the scenic Jamison Ranch in Carneros to sample his recent releases and 2012 is quite a special vintage in Napa Valley. This vinateg from Valley Gate has loads of fresh fruit. A light yellow hue. A suave bouquet of lemon zest, white flowers and almonds with touches of white peach, and lychee. A bright palette of white peach, and pear with touches of Asian spice. Enjoy this refreshing wine with dishes inspired by Chef Michael Chiarello from Yountville’s Bottega. Bottega has inventive Italian cuisine and is the place to find celebrity winery owners in Napa Valley. Specialties include wood grilled Octopus, Seafood Brodetto with shrimps and clams, Forno Roasted Chicken Breast, Polenta and Roasted whole fish like Branzino.
About the Winemaker
NAPA, Calif., Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Reata Winery is pleased to announce the appointment of Nori Nakamura as winemaker. With his appointment, Nakamura brings a decade of Napa Valley winemaking experience to Reata's award-winning wine portfolio. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Nakamura initially gained wine experience in the hospitality industry; after graduating from Keio University and receiving his Sommelier certification from the Japan Sommelier Association, he became Catering Manager at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco in 1999. Deciding to make winemaking his career, he took cellar jobs at Koves-Newland Vineyards & Winery and Pine Ridge Vineyards in the Napa Valley, while earning his Bachelor's degree in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Nakamura began his winemaking career with a position at Napa Wine Company, which provided experience in a wide range of winemaking styles. He thereafter served for four years as assistant winemaker for Artesa Winery, honing his skills making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Carneros region. As winemaker, Nakamura will continue Reata’s winemaking excellence that has yielded several multiple gold medal wines. Nakamura says, "At Reata, I have only one goal, I want to capture the purity and character of these two great cool weather varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This means working with small lots, each with its own charm and voice, and then working them into a chorus that really sings." Situated in the rolling hills of the southeastern Napa Valley, Reata Winery specializes in cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with limited production of Viognier, Syrah and Petite Sirah for the Tasting Room, from both the Reata Estate vineyard and from select vineyards in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Reata Winery also produces Whiplash, a line of exciting, richly fruited wines - both classic varietals and unique proprietary blends - for everyday enjoyment. Reata provides its winemakers with the freedom and resources to make each bottle of wine the best possible expression of the varietal by sourcing grapes from vineyards across multiple appellations in California. Reata produces wines from the 350-acre estate that was once part of the Suscol Ranch owned by General M.G. Vallejo. Reata's first vintages were released in the fall of 2011 and are in national distribution. The tasting room is open daily and carries small batch wines exclusively available on-site or online at www.reatawines.com.
Valley Gate Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay Napa Valley
Release Date: February 2014
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vinification: 100% Stainless Steel Fermentation
Aging: 85% Stainless Steel, 15% French Oak, neutral (8 months)
Alcohol: 13.90% by volume
Residual Sugar: .43%
Production: 1,500 cases
Vivid straw yellow in color, this expressive Chardonnay features wafting aromas of lime, pear, peach, apricot, pineapple and golden apple. The palate is marked by a bright entry followed by citrus and stone fruit flavors. A delectable acidity provides a vibrant structure, and a viscous texture contributes to a round, rich mouthfeel.
This Chardonnay is an approachable, satisfying and food-friendly wine. Mild fish like tuna pair delightfully well with this wine. The addition of mushrooms or fennel enhances the balance on your palate.
[Information Provided By J.H.N]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.