Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Holman Ranch 2013 Virgin Chardonnay, Carmel Valley

Not a fan of big buttery Chardonnay? Try an un-oaked version for a delicate, food-friendly treat.

Fire Of The Dragon

My wife’s nickname is the Green Dragon. I’ll have to devote an entire post to how she got that name. But that’s sometime in the future.

All you really need to know is that she occasionally lives up to that title. Nothing makes her breathe fire more than a very oaky Chardonnay. I’m OK with it on occasion, but in general I prefer less oak finishing with the white wines. Too often the heaviness obscures the delicate notes of flavor.

She recently prepared Mahi-Mahi with a lemon scallion cream sauce, steamed kale and sweet potatoes. The pairing was a 2013 Virgin Chardonnay from Holman Ranch.

Dialing Down The Oak

When we sat down to dinner and drank our first toast of the evening, a smile crossed the Green Dragon’s face. This Virgin Chardonnay is a delight. The flavors are pure, unimpeded by French, American or Hungarian oak. It’s just you and the Chardonnay grapes. Holman Ranch is certified organic and sustainable, so the grapes are just as nature intended – if nature were a vineyard manager who obsessed over quality fruit, that is.

Mahi-Mahi is a mild fish and the wine blended nicely with it and the cream sauce. I like kale, but I have my limits. The kale flavors were washed away by the joyous Chardonnay. The wine begins with a flourish of citrus flavors and finishes with bright but soft texture on the palate.

Virgin Chardonnay is another winning bottle from Holman Ranch. We recommend it for Chardonnay lovers and those who shy away from the oaky variety. The price is also easy to swallow. At just $23 SRP, its a great value for a California Chardonnay.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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