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by Fred McMillin
The Susan and Bill Show
White wines do not win Best of Tasting kudos. At least, I checked my panel's votes for the past six months, and no white made it, except one.
"Matanzas Creek has two winemakers, Bill Parker and Susan Reed. They have developed a very sophisticated state-of-the-art winery laboratory that would induce envy in a UC-Berkeley scientist."
...Jim Wood, S.F. Examiner
"Soon after Susan and Bill took over as co-winemakers in 1989 they had more than 350 experimental lots of wine around the place. They crushed grapes with and without the stems. They stirred the barrel lees (sediment) back up into the wine with an assortment of "paddles" to determine the most flavor-friendly type. They even explored the effects of barrel-stave thickness on the aging of wine (thicker staves slow aging).
...Fred McMillin, S.F. Independent
The Rest of the Story
All that research has paid off big. It produced the '96 Chardonnay that dazzled my panel. The '95 was just as impressive, as described in the March 18, 1998 WineDay titled " A Triple-A Chardonnay."
Wine Whiz James Laube gives the Chardonnay a very rare FIVE STARS, and sums up the matter this way. "Matanzas Creek is one of those rare wineries that keeps on improving its wines. Their Chardonnay is among the best." Here are the '96 details.
1996 Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
120 years ago the first California Chardonnay vines were planted where? SONOMA COUNTY.
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