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Reviewed: Bouchaine Chardonnay Napa Valley - Carneros @BouchaineWines


A showcase of elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay. 

"The uncertainty of life is there in front of you in the glass." 
- Michael Richmond, winemaker Bouchaine Vineyards

On a featured #WineMuse podcast show Linda Reznicek and yours truly, have explored the up and down trajectory of the world's favorite varietal, Chardonnay, through the words of great Chardonnay winemakers in Napa Valley and Washington state.

A highlight of our focus on Chardonnay was an interview with winemaker Michael Richmond and a special tasting of three memorable bottles of Bouchaine Vineyards Chardonnay. I invite you to listen to our podcast as we share an evening of Chardonnay and Chardonnay artistry and genius.

Bouchaine Vineyards is a 40 year pioneer in the California wine industry, Michael Richmond founded Acacia Wines in the Carneros district of Napa Valley and now makes wine for Bouchaine. He brings the history and his love of wine education, experience, and adventure.

Tasting notes follow: 

Bouchaine 2011 Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Estate Vineyard
"Drank elegantly restrained"

Color: Gold.
Nose: Mineral fresh, golden, pear juice, river rock, brioche, melon, lemon, nuttiness.
Palate: Refreshing, lively on the tongue, essence of stone fruit, lemon cream echo, restrained and appealing. Very fine after a hot summer hike. Fabulous lunch wine.
After 30 mins, a little more viscosity, spiced pear, lemon brioche, honeydew melon, lemony finish. Everything good about Chardonnay.
After an hour, nose of sweet melon, summer rain, spicy pear. Drank elegantly restrained, fruit focused to the front, modest pear, vanilla, melon, friendly acid top palate and tip of tongue.
After 4.5 hours, aromatic, creamy bright, pear melon, a little spice, tingle down the middle of the tongue.

Day two: Spicy, melon, pear, ginger, nutty, classic Chardonnay profile. Stimulated appetite. Begging food. Craved crab.

Thoughts: Chill wine. Kick off your shoes, put on your fave tunes, and enjoy a glass of Bouchaine Chardonnay. Pair with lighter fare, humus, vegetables, melon, chilled noodles. Recommended.

Certified Sustainable
Blending of stainless and oak aged Chardonnay
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $30
Sample provided by the winery

Bouchaine Bacchus Collection Chene D'Argent Estate 2011 Chardonnay
"Impressive out of the gate."

Color: Straw.
Nose: Heady, yeasty, dry pear, cool slate, vanilla, melon, herbal breeze. An ocean scent after 20 minutes. Seductive.
Palate: Vanilla, kiwi, pineapple, lemon, melon, fantastic savory edge, wow on the fruit! Juicy, balanced, nice weight, lively, focused. Impressive out of the gate. Creamy mineral finish as it warmed, with lemon French kiss. Chills.
At 30 minutes, dry, almost steely, tropical leanings, zingy finish.

Thoughts: Not what I expected. Food not required, but would be tasty with anything benefiting from lemon. Big like and my style of wine. Strongly recommended.

Fermented in stainless - no malolactic
ABV: 13%
Closure: Natural cork
Production: 250 cases
SRP: $30
Sample provided by winery

Bouchaine Bacchus 2011 Bouche de Beurre Estate Chardonnay
"Thoughts of intimate kisses and ear nibbling occupied my mind"

Color: Bright yellow gold.
Nose: Yeast, pear, oak, river rock, with air it was spicy and captivating.
Palate: Smooth, rich, delicious with inviting texture, dry pear, edged with crisp lime and kiwi. With air, it was restrained, creamy lusciousness. Fantastic with grilled dog and kraut lunch.
After an hour, lively, more citrus, satisfying finish. Just opening up.
After six hours, vanilla, lemon blossom, cream, brioche nose. Creamy, expansive on the tongue, fluid, intimate acidity along the gum line, pear, lychee.

Thoughts: Drink me now. Thoughts of intimate kisses and ear nibbling occupied my mind. Date or make out wine at the six hour point. Strongly Recommended.

Fermented in oak with malolactic fermentation
Closure: Natural cork
SRP: $50
Sample provided by the winery

*Note: The Bacchus Collection is intended primarily for wine club members. They make many wines exclusively for their wine club. Worth checking out.

Big thank you to Michael Richmond and Bouchaine Vineyards. I invite you to listen to the interview with Michael Richmond - he's an inspirational winemaker and he shared his philosophy on winemaking with us, The Rise, FALL, and Rise of Chardonnay In the Words of the Winemakers.


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