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Waterstone Chardonnay: Crisp and balanced

Posted on: April 26th, 2016 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Waterstone Chardonnay: Crisp and balancedStill keeping with their minimalist philosophy of owning the least amounts of land, winery operations, and tasting facilities possible, Philip Zorn and Brent Shortridge are still at it.  Since 2000, their wines still remain one of the best values out there.

The action plan is clear, they focus on the wine itself and the essential relationships needed to support it. Their operation, Waterstone Winery may be elusive in facilities and equipment, but the wine tells another story.

The quality of their 2014 Carneros Chardonnay is yet another example of this.  It’s nicely priced at ($20) and is the perfect example of how affordable wines can taste beyond their price tag.

Its bouquet is not typical of a Chardonnay.  At first impact, it comes forward with pear, garden greens, and a little baked bread.  As it opens up, there are nuances of green apples and citrus plus a little oak, but these are in the background, making it a very intriguing Chardonnay.  What’s really in the background is oak, like a French wine, this one is crisp and refreshing, making it perfect with seafood.

Waterstone has created another distinctive wine and an excellent example of what to expect from Napa’s 2014 vintage.  There will be a lot more to enjoy thanks to the unique conditions that prevailed two years ago.  If there are more like this, bring ‘em on!

Because Waterstone has a limited distribution, they sell primarily from their website, or you can taste then buy at Anders-Lane right in downtown Napa.  They have a spacious counter and bar tables making it quite easy to walk up for service and then sit down to enjoy.

Be sure to try this Chardonnay as a starter with shrimp cocktail.  Just add a dash of lemon squeezed on the shrimp to make it perfect, a harmony in taste that really works.  If you want, compare with a Sauvignon Blanc from 2014 and make note of the character of the acidity and bouquets of the two wines.

Serve moderately chilled.  This Chard needs to be about 50 degrees to show its stuff.

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About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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