by Fred McMillin
for October 27, 1999


A Real Sweetie



"In the last 20 years California has produced some startlingly good [dessert] Rieslings."

...Johnson and Halliday, The Vintner's Art

"In the past few years California has produced some startlingly good dessert Chardonnays."

...Fred McMillin, writing in the
San Francisco Independent

The Rest of the Story

Three decades ago, the esteemed Alexis Lichine noted that while California had the essential weather conditions to make good dessert wines, "there have been no further developments."

Audubon Cellars Soon after that, those fine, sweet Rieslings (and Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon) began to appear in the Golden State. Now, Chardonnay enters the fray. We just tasted a real sweetie...

Late Harvest Chardonnay, 1997
Trio C Vineyard, Napa Valley
Audubon Cellars, Berkeley, CA
Sugar content—13.6%
Tasting notes—Glorious, delicate apricot-honey flavors
Food affinity—I always advocate serving with a dessert LESS sweet than the wine, in this case a lemon pound cake.
Contact—Katie Calhoun, (415) 346-2929
Price—$14 (375 ml.)

Postscript—Keep Your Eye on Audubon

French-born John Audubon emigrated to the United States in 1806, became a very patriotic American, and produced his landmark Birds of America.

German-born Dieter Tede emigrated to the United States in 1959, became a very patriotic American, and was an original shareholder (and secretary-treasurer) when Audubon Cellars was founded.

The winery labels have always featured those incredible John Audubon aquatints, particularly those of endangered species.

Dieter has stayed with the winery, and the theme. He rose to president in 1991, retired as president of the Marine Chartering Co. last year, and now is devoting all his energy to the grape. You are going to be hearing more of Audubon!

Note: For much more about the winery and its outstanding winemaker, Barry Grushkowitz, see last year's Oct. 8 WineDay, "This Winery is for the Birds".

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


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