People all over the country have been experiencing a winter than can only be described as balmy. Here in Philadelphia, for example, it’s warm enough that, once I’ve completed my tasting for the day, I plan on heading outside and enjoying a cigar...without needing a flask of whiskey to keep me warm. (I’ll have the whiskey, of course, but because I enjoy a dram with a smoke, not because I’ll need it to keep from shivering.)
In honor of this, I’m happy to recommend two utterly beautiful Chardonnays from a producer I’ve grown mighty fond of over the past several years: Knights Bridge. If you’re in a place where the weather is warm, these are refreshing enough to be a fantastic option. And if you happen to be one of the few Americans who’s dealing with temperatures that are actually, well, appropriate for the season, these two whites are hearty enough that you can enjoy them right out of the cellar and not have to worry about adding any extra chill to your day.
In other words, they’re perfect right now, no matter what it’s doing outside your window.
Knights Bridge Chardonnay “West Block” 2009, Knights Valley
This wine greets you with aromas of warm, toasty oak limned with fresh mint leaves, coconut, and vanilla creme brulee, as well as cinnamon-glazed pear and a hint of white licorice. These turn to flavors of gently spiced pineapple baba au rhum, pina colada, white chocolate, and pear tart, all carried on a texture somewhere between velvet and pure happiness. Magnificent, and a fantastic example of what California Chardonnay, in its classic form, can do. Hold for 2-3 years, and then drink over the next 11+ years. As giving as this is, it’s still holding lots in store. 200 cases produced
Knights Bridge Chardonnay “Alder Springs Vineyard” 2009, Mendocino County
Anise- and coconut-scented, this is still marked by young oak that will continue to integrate, but it’s showing all the promise in the world right now. Expressive aromas of candied pineapple and exotic spice fill out the nose, as well as something that speaks of green cardamom, creamed pear, and quince. On the palate, its tongue-coating texture is lifted by unexpectedly bright acidity, as well as a charming seam of kumquat-peel bitterness. Mandarin orange, a hint of Fuyu persimmon, and orange blossom creep in there, too. The finish is still a touch hot, but this, I suspect, will resolve itself with time. Hold for 3-5 years, and then drink over the next 12+. This is one for the cellar, and is well worth the wait. 100 cases produced