by Fred McMillin
Top Gun Ortman
"Experts say that Chardonnays have the flavors of fruit, butter, toast. Sounds like a good breakfast wine."
...Jack Mingo's Wannabe Guide To Wine
"The typical Chardonnay winemaker is more carpenter then vintner, chiefly concerned with oak: how much, how new, how charred, how long a soak? The wine critic, poor sap, must create unique descriptions for hundreds of the wretched concoctions, no matter that they're all virtually the same, varying only in the ham-handedness or SUBTLETY of their oak treatment."
...Willie Gluckstern's The Wine Avenger
The Rest of the Story
"Charles Ortman, Meridian founder and chief winemaker, aims for and achieves SUBTLETY rather than power. And his. '89 Chardonnay, don't faint, is priced at $9.75." ...Bob Thompson, arguably the most careful observer of California wines.
Ten years later, the Meridian Chardonnay is priced at only $11. Charles' recent letter to me is sprinkled with words like "moderate" and "delicate," spell it SUBTLE. So here's your affordable Chardonnay to serve before and with the first course (potato and leek soup or salmon mousse) of your holiday meal.
Wine of the Day
1998 Meridian Chardonnay
Bob Thompson's admiration for Ortman's winemaking goes back a long ways..."His 1985 Chardonnay instantly made Meridian into one of those names I copy onto a list and carry around in my wallet for about three years in case I run across a stray bottle in a store somewhere. In this case I never did. Rats!" (San Francisco Examiner)
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