by Fred McMillin
for March 24, 1997

A Chardonnay That Came to Play

"Burly...has guts...owns the fastest single-engine plane at the airport." Those press comments about former airline pilot Tom Burgess indicate he's no wimp. Neither are his Chardonnays. I wouldn't call the '94 Napa Valley "burly," but it radiates an intense marriage of fruit and oak that will get your attention immediately. It's not for just white fish and foul. It can more than hold it's own with ham, veal, or charbroiled salmon.

1994 Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Burgess Cellars
St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA
Founded by Tom in 1972

Category: Recommended

Postscript: Where That Chardonnay Grows: The Burgess purchase in 1972 included a large, hillside, 90-year-old vineyard. While great for Cabernet Sauvignon, it proved too warm for Chardonnay. So Tom bought 30 acres in marine-cooled southern Napa Valley where Burgess Chardonnay lived happily ever after.

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 and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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