Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0398/wd031898.html on line 11

Warning: include(http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0398/wd031898.html on line 11

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd0398/wd031898.html on line 11

 


by Fred McMillin
for March 18, 1998

A Triple-A Chardonnay


Prologue

Few wineries across the country can match the Matanzas Creek record for producing top Chardonnays.

......Leading wine critic Robert Parker

The Matanzas Creek Chardonnay is one of the Top 100 Wines released in 1995.

...The Wine Spectator


The Rest of the Story  

Here's how this terrific Chardonnay came to be.
1974—After some difficulties with vinegrowing on a north-facing Sonoma tract, Sandra McIver found and bought a 116-acre dairy farm facing SOUTH.
1977—Merry Edwards is hired as the first winemaker. It was decided to obtain a variety of Chardonnay clones from U.C.(Davis).
1983—Vintages 1978 (the first) through 1981 receive strong critical acclaim, the '79 and '81 winning the Sweepstakes Award in major competitions.
1984—David Ramey replaces Merry as winemaker, and added more dimensions to the Chardonnay, using some French touches based on his experience at the renowned Chateau Petrus. He introduces aging on the lees (yeasty sediment), advocated malolactic fermentation (reduces acidity and adds complexity), and more.
1985—Bill Parker, with 10 years of Sonoma winery experience, is hired as cellarmaster. Susan Reed, with a strong science background, is hired as laboratory director.
1989—David leaves. Susan and Bill become co-winemakers, so 50% of the winemakers' time can be spent on research. Bill says, "We have hundreds of bottled experiments that tell us what works best in the vineyards and the cellar." (My classes have loved the examples they've sent, such as tasting the same wine, except one was aged in new French oak, the other in French oak that had been used previously for two years to age an earlier wine...the class preferred the new, but liked even more a blend of the two.)
1997—My large tasting includes the 1995 release and it wins Best White. Those experiments continue to pay off BIG.


The Wine

1995 Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley
Matanzas Creek Winery, Sonoma Valley
Winemaking—100% malolactic fermentation, stirred on the lees, 39% of the French oak used for storage is new.
Phone—(707) 528-6464
Price—$30


Postcript

"Matanzas" is a Native American word meaning "to destroy," which is what the winery does to much of its competition.


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.


 


WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin

 

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend


Current WineDay

1997 WineDays
January WineDays
February WineDays

03/17/98
Happy St. Patrick's Day

03/16/98
This Brut's a Beaut  

03/13/98
Winery of the Week

Ah Hah! It's Bolla!

03/12/98
A Sterling Pinot

03/11/98
A Chardonnay Mystery

03/10/98
Brandborg Charbono

03/09/98
Leland Stanford,
Governor, Senator
and Vintner

03/06/98
Winery of the Week
Red Hot Rosemount

03/05/98
"Organic," the Start of Something Big

03/04/98
A Sip of the 1600s

03/03/98 
A Pape White, Love
at First Sight

  03/02/98
Texas Independence Day

Global Gourmet | Global Gourmet Today

Copyright © 1998—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.