Wine of the Week – 2015 Wente Eric’s Small Lot Chardonnay - $25

Dwight Casimere | 6/1/2017, noon
Went 2015 Eric's Small Lot Chardonnay is a tribute to the art of winemaking. The grapes for the Small Lot ...

Went 2015 Eric's Small Lot Chardonnay is a tribute to the art of winemaking. The grapes for the Small Lot wine are hand harvested from selected blocks of estate grown and certified sustainable vineyards. Influenced by the warm days and cool nights of t he San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the grapes are picked at their optimum and sorted at harvest to ensure premium quality. Fermented at cold temperatures in stainless steel tanks in order to retain the optimal fruit character, aromatics and flavor, the wine is then aged for four months in stainless steel tanks. No oak touches this wine, therefore the pristine flavor of the grapes and their juice is preserved. The resulting wine is a masterpiece.

Eric Wente is a Fourth Generation Winegrower. Founded in 1883, Wente is the nation's oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Owned and managed by the Fourth and Fifth Generations of the Wente family, the winery draws from nearly 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed estate vineyards in some of California's prime wine producing areas; Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, Arroyo Secco, and Monterey.

In a sense, virtually every California wine you drink is potentially a Wente-derived Chardonnay. In 1912, Ernest Wente imported Chardonnay cuttings from France. The vines were planted at the same time as vines gleaned from the Gier vineyard in Pleasanton. Over the net 30-40 years, Ernest selected vines that showed favorable traits and planted them at his Livermore Valley estate to establish the Wente Clone of Chardonnay. According to a study conducted by the University of California at Davis, 80% of all California Chardonnays are made with or derived from the Wente Clone.

At $25 a bottle, you could not ask for a more well crafted Chardonnay. First of all the fresh fruit aromas and flavors of citrus, melon and white flowers are outstanding. The wine is perfect with food. Lemon zest, white peach, pineapple, green apple, pineapple and hints of jasmine and mandarin orange, make this a complex, well-structured wine that goes with a variety of summertime foods. Its the perfect wine guest at your garden party, to be drunk well-chilled as an aperitif while the grilled shrimp on skewers is being passed around and the salmon or rosemary and lemon chicken is smoking on the grill. A light pasta dish adorned with only some crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and a crumbling of fresh goat cheese or think slices of fresh mozzarella makes for the perfect starter. Bon appetite!