Christmas Eve is always a big deal in my family. My wife and I head to my parents' house, as do my brother and his wife. My parents don’t drink much, but the wine usually flows pretty easily at these Christmas Eve dinners, before the huge family (my mother has seven siblings) comes over on Christmas Day. This year was no exception.
I brought a bottle of the excellent 2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc, and after we enjoyed that we cracked open this Mendocino chard from my father’s wine fridge.
My wife and I used to be members at a Mendocino winery, the excellent Navarro Vineyards, so I was looking forward to this bottle from the moment I spotted it. Luckily for me, the cork was out mere seconds later.
The wine is a light yellow in the glass, but very bright. I’ve had some recent chardonnays that were very light-colored and looked almost like they weren’t there, but this one practically sparkled (though, no, there were no bubbles).
On the nose was a bit of green apple married with a really refreshing wet grass, right-after-a-new-rain scent. It was just a little earthy but overall very pleasant. The wine is light in the mouth, and it is crisp and clean, with a very short finish. The apple and grass notes do not pass through to the palate; they are replaced instead by a tangy grapefruit note and a general minerality that I enjoyed quite a bit.
All in all, a very nice California chardonnay. It shows quite nicely the range that the state offers: Mendocino and Napa Counties may be very close to each other, but this is in no way a big buttery Napa chard. Recommended.