Thursday, November 22, 2012

Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

While I am not a huge fan of California chardonnay in general, there are notable exceptions.  Patz & Hall is one of them, especially this one.  The sprawling Sonoma Coast AVA encompasses too much geography to consistently produce a hallmark style but diligent producers like Patz & Hall showcase the region properly.
Intense, ripe, tropical citrus fruit springs forward like many other California chards but the Sonoma Coast maintains a fresh, creamy, lemony acidity that keeps the wine lively and lip-smacking.  My palate craves more of the rich wine rather than becoming tired or bored like it does with so many other California chardonnays.
I had the luxury of being able to enjoy a glass of the 2009 and 2010 versions of Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast yesterday.  The 2010 was bigger, fuller and more exotic while the 2009 showed a leaner, racier style.  The winery and AVA styles expressed themselves clearly yet the wines showed much more variety than I would have guessed.
This was a good reminder of maintaining an open mind and willing palate.  It was also a good sign from California that vintages do matter and perhaps even jaded wine geeks should pay closer attention.

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