Chardonnay is a polarizing grape, so much so that the term "ABC" to a wine merchant immediately means "Anything But Chardonnay." The shorthand was coined in opposition to the rich, buttery style of barrel-aged Chardonnay that took California by storm, but it's an unfortunate generalization since Chardonnay's greatest strength is its incredible versatility. There truly is a Chardonnay for everyone - you just have to know where to look! Enter Fox Run's Kaiser Vineyard Chardonnay, sourced from this Finger Lakes pioneer's oldest vineyard. The ABC crowd might dismiss it outright at the sight of the words "barrel-fermented" on the back label, but stylistically this bears a greater resemblance to Cru Chablis than it does to California oak bombs. Climate is the main reason: in the cool Finger Lakes AVA of New York state, grapes rarely have the opportunity to ripen to the point of achieving the luscious, tropical-fruit aromas of their sun-drenched Cali cousins. Instead, aromas and flavours are more along the leaner, fresher lines associated with Burgundy or the cool coastal vineyards of northern California. Enjoy over the next 5 years at a cool (but not too cold) 12 C.
Open and expressive, with loads of ripe orchard fruit like green and red apples, pears, and peaches. Citrus notes of Meyer lemon add freshness to the mix, and the oak is present but balanced, lending hints of almond, coconut, and brioche to the ripe fruit.
Pure and focused on the palate, with a punch of peach, pear, and apple. It's medium-bodied and creamy, but not weighty or unbalanced. The zippy acidity keeps it amazingly refreshing and bright, and the finish is long and juicy. We'd recommend removing it from the fridge a good 20-30 minutes before you plan on enjoying, to allow all the vibrant fruit to shine.
This Chardonnay would stand up to richer dishes like spinach and ricotta ravioli or roast poultry, but it has enough zip to be the perfect foil to shellfish like fresh oysters.