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ZD 2017 Chardonnay - $42

Dwight Casimere | 4/18/2019, noon
When Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi first pooled their limited financial resources to obtain a winery permit in Sonoma County, ...

When Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi first pooled their limited financial resources to obtain a winery permit in Sonoma County, their objective was to create wines that would emulate those of the famed Burgundy region of France. Since those halcyon days 50 years ago, the winery has not only reached that goal, but exceeded it, producing exceptional wines that not only possess sophistication and elegance, but reflect style and terroir that is uniquely Californian.

ZD Such an example is their new release, 2017 Chardonnay ($42). A blend of Chardonnay grapes from four coastal regions, Santa Maria Valley, Arroyo Secco and the famous Carneros district that straddles both Napa and Sonoma Counties, the wine literally dances with flavor.

Hand harvested at night and then fermented at very cool temperatures, the long, slow process preserves the bright tropical flavors and citrus aromas that characterize this exceptional wine. Long aging in American oak ensures richness and balance.

Aromas of fresh cut pineapple and orange blossoms give way to flavors of Meyer lemon, guava and hints of vanilla and flecks of shaved cinnamon and hints of fresh tarragon. These are the mouthwatering flavors of spring that are perfect with garden variety fruit and vegetable salads.

Try cubes of fresh pineapple interspersed with melon and fresh grapes on a skewer. Or brochettes of grilled chicken alternated with plum tomatoes and lightly grilled asparagus spears. Follow up with a course of creamy Sonoma Goat cheeses and an array of sorbets and you have the perfect al fresco meal with, arguably, one of the best examples of the new breed of California Chardonnays that you will find anywhere.