2014 Meiomi Chardonnay

Meiomi wine has been exceptionally good to us lately. This evening is another instance that echoes recent bottles we have had, both whites and reds, and I would encourage you to browse any of those reviews for context. It’s our first sampling of the 2014 vintage, and we picked a great meal with which to pair this aromatic white wine.

2014 Meiomi Chardonnay, California, USA.

2014 Meiomi Chardonnay, California, USA.

The food? Killer. A moonshot home run. You’re looking at a 2014 Meiomi Chardonnay next to Cod Kedgeree served over basmati rice, eggs, and frizzled onion. The lime garnish was a great touch too, softening the curry spices (a blend of kedgeree spices) and bringing some light refreshment to the dish. The result, courtesy of Blue Apron and a fun evening in the kitchen doing the prep work, was a mix of warm and cool, of spice and sweet. I’m not sure I’ve had a Chardonnay under better circumstances, all told.

The cod kedgeree in the prep stage.

The cod kedgeree in the prep stage.

As shared in previous Notes regarding Meiomi, the winemaker sources these grapes from multiple AVAs throughout California and brings them together in a proprietary blend. There is some orange in the aromas, some other citrus fruits, and a luscious mouthfeel. It sounds weird to observe that it tastes liquid, or solid, but both kind of make sense as I reflect back on the 2014 now. Some thoughtful planning had two bottles of the 2014 on hand as we started in on this adventure, and when we finished the first we had #2 primed and ready.

Though we do prefer the 2013 to the 2014 Meiomi, the latter made for quite a fantastic dining (cooking too!) experience.

2013 Chardonnay, Meiomi Wines

The Meiomi Pinot Noir gets a lot of attention from wine enthusiasts (this one included), and for good reason. It’s a fantastic wine, and it is well represented in Notes if you wanted to search for such reviews. What I didn’t know was that Wagner also had a comparable white blend in their Chardonnay.

2013 Meiomi Chardonnay, Meoimi Wines

2013 Meiomi Chardonnay, Meoimi Wines, St. Helena, California, USA.

The Meiomi Chardonnay (this one is obviously a 2013) is, like their red, a blend of grapes sourced from Santa Barbara (49%), Sonoma (30%), and Monterrey (21%) coastal counties. That mixture infuses a wide variety of interesting tastes in this white, which is not overly oaky  or buttery but rather characterized by some crisp apple-like fruits and some mineral undertones. Not quite what you’d expect from a wine that does some time aging in French oak. My wife and I both enjoyed, which is pretty high praise if you know us.

Thus did the 2013 Meiomi Chardonnay launch our house into Friday evening, the end of the year’s first work week. The stemware was ready and served up our drinks during the cocktail hour as well as during dinner–which consisted of two types of ravioli. Delicious dinner and wine for us both*.

My wife picked out this bottle, and we are likely to put it more frequently in the rotation over the coming year with pasta, fish, and the helluv it. Hope you enjoy yours as much as we did.

*Note that mine also consisted of more Wagner family wine

2012 North Coast Chardonnay, William Hill Estate Winery

This was a multiple­-night Chardonnay, and that usually means one of two things: 1) either the white didn’t have enough time to breathe, or 2) the accompanying food disappeared faster than the vino. In our house, whites are consumed infrequently and even less often once the fish or chicken is gone.

2012 North Coast Chardonnay, William Hill Estate Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA.

2012 North Coast Chardonnay, William Hill Estate Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA.

The William Hill North Coast has good branding, and a label that is not unlike a Mondavi. The embossing is a nice touch too, but I didn’t think this white quite lived up to this appearance. It was not sweet (which gets no love whatsoever in Notes) at all, and had some light floral and citrus (definitely pear) notes to it­­–but so do practically all whites. So how did this 2012 differentiate itself?

Said plainly, it really didn’t. I have yet to research this vintage of the William Hill, and I don’t know its cooperage­­, but I’m betting this was not aged in oak. I’m thinking stainless steel instead. Some of the warmth (what I often hear described as “buttery”) I equate with an oak barrel was not present here. This is not to say it was metallic tasting, but it was just uneven.*

Enjoyed the chance to try something new here, in the 2012 William Hill North Coast Chardonnay, but I am satisfied and file now under “been there, done that.”

*Postscript. The winemaker described, “This well-balanced wine has a robust fruit finish.” And they also state that a “portion” of this wine is aged in stainless steel at a maximum temperature of 62°F and the rest fermented in barrels at “an ambient cellar temperature of approximately 65°F.” Bingo!

2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

I’m polishing off this cool, refreshing Chardonnay in the waning moments of tonight’s cocktail hour. Hiding as it was in the bottom of the fridge, partially consumed from some previous evening, this 2013 Kendall-Jackson has lost a bit of its crisp, fresh tone but still pulls a smile from my weary face.

2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, California, USA.

2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, California, USA.

Pear is present and accounted for, as is a nice easy finish that is hinting at a possible turn in the near future. Fortunately, she’s been liberated from the bottle just in time. The 2013 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay will accompany grilled tuna steaks, seasoned with lemon and a Mediterranean spice mix, white rice, and medley of scallions and mushrooms. Very promising stuff.

The Kendall-Jackson family always makes a good effort, and I’m sure this is one too. Excuse the brevity; the next time around we’ll be sure to polish with less of an interval between tastings and look forward to sharing those findings with you.

2013 Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay

This is the second Noble Vines wine we’ve had in recent weeks, this one a white–not a frequent Saturday night beverage in our house but one to which we both surrendered this evening.  In the interest of time I’ll explain that the 446 originates from the San Bernabe AVA, one termed the “cool climate Monterey” by the winemaker.

Your label on the 446 gives simple instructions – “Enjoy with grilled fish, chicken or pasta with creamy sauces.” And we did. Tuna steaks, so fresh and tender, we had alongside orzo pasta, peas, and asparagus. The pasta and vegetables were a contrast in styles and tastes, intertwining hot and cool elements into a great accent for the fish.

2013 Nobel Vines 446 Chardonney, Monterey, California, USA.

2013 Nobel Vines 446 Chardonney, Monterey, California, USA.

Fresh citrus is the best way, in my limited vocabulary and experience with whites, that I can describe the 2013 vintage of the 446. It doesn’t have a “buttery” taste to it, and in that way is similar to the Simi that we had not too long ago.  In Notes for both I find myself struggling for specifics, for nuances that help differentiate among California Chardonnays and am determined to improve on my palate so as to offer more useful advice on whites in the future.

This is not that occasion, though, so let me close simply by saying it brought a smile to my face to know we both were giving a go to the 446 on this sultry Summer evening. Hoping you and yours had a good Saturday too!