We got this bottle from the winery’s wine club in December 2012. The bouquet is slightly caramelly with suggestions of cream and tropical fruits. I can already imagine how this wine will taste……….. This is the first bottling of a Monastery Chardonnay we’ve ever received from Lynmar. Priced at $70 (full retail), I’m assuming this wine will be just about as good (or better?) as their La Sereinite Chardonnay, which is ALWAYS fantastic. Sure enough, this is indeed a delicious, fabulous RRV Chard. Up front, there’s mostly tropical and pitted fruits in the flavor profile, like pineapples, mangos, peaches, and apricots. Next up are the usual RRV Chard herbal and spice elements like white pepper and savory herbs. This is an incredibly rich and creamy Chard and based on the sediment at the bottom of the bottle (and clinging to the cork) I’m assuming this wine was aged on the lees and fermented in oak. Like any/all quality Chards, this wine is NOT over-oaked (like a lot of weak/bad Cali Chards are (they often rely on their oakiness to cloak their inherent weaknesses)). The perfect amount of oak contributes to the wine’s rich, creamy, slightly vanilla/butterscotch/caramel characteristics. In addition to the ripe, delicious fruitiness and rich, creamy texture, there’s also an essence of food-friendly acidity. This wine’s structure (acidity, tannins, alcohol, etc.) is beautifully balanced and perfectly woven to gorgeously co-exist with the wine’s fruity/spicy elements. I paired this wine with oven-baked chicken thighs spiced with CostCo’s “Sweet Mesquite” spice blend (if you’ve ever read my white wine reviews before, I OFTEN pair white wines (especially Chardonnay) with this easy, delicious, slightly-healthy protein pairing). This RRV Chard paired beautifully with the chicken thighs, and based on the tropical fruit profile, I also believe this wine would pair beautifully with a light-to-medium-bodied white fish dish covered/drenched with a tropical salsa. At four-plus years post-harvest, this wine has aged beautifully and will probably continue to age nicely for another five years or so if properly stored and/or kept in the refrigerator. If you like rich, creamy, spicy, beautifully-balanced Cali Chards, this one’s difficult to beat. Yes, it’s rather expensive, but for a sub-$75 bottle, this Cali Chard is difficult to beat. Lynmar can always be counted on for producing fantastic RRV Chards and Pinots (plus, I LOVE their rose made from Pinot Noir grapes (their rose is easily my favorite American rose (who can beat a great/quality rose made from Pinot Noir grapes?!?!?!)).
Significantly richer and oakier than I prefer, but still short of stereotypical California excess. It's reminiscent of the more robust expressions of Meursault, but more aggressive.
Prominent oak in the nose, leaving vanilla, menthol and toasty aromas. Buttery palate, counteracted with ample acidity and distinctly slate-like finish. Good stone fruit in the middle, but it gets a little lost under the oak and malolactic flavors. For the style - which is not to my taste (I prefer much leaner expressions of Chardonnay) - it's executed quite well. Hedonistically, it's only a mid-80s wine for me, but for its style, it's low 90s.
Light yellow color. Nose of buttered apples, vanilla and dill. On the palate, flavors of sweet, ripe pears, buttered popcorn and a bit of vanilla cream. Great acidity and a long finish. I enjoyed this wine quite a bit and it was an amazing pairing with a fresh crab cake with roasted corn. My only complaint was that the oak flavors dominated the nose and palate but perhaps with a bit more time in the bottle, some other secondary flavors would develop.
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