#newwinethisweek Week 31 – California Chardonnay #NWTW on tour!
I’m writing this at the Windmill motel in Buellton (yes the one from Sideways) and tucking into a glass of superb Chardonnay from Au Bon Climat (posts about both to come soon!) so it just has to be California Chardonnay all the way this week… well what else can I write about??
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that California recovered from Prohibition and got itself back on the world wine atlas; it is reported there were less that 130 wineries in operation when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. It took a while for the Californians to rebuild from almost scratch but in 1976, at the Judgement of Paris, everything would change forever. Chateau Montelena’s 1973 beat off competition from Beaune, Puligny, Meursault and the Grand Cru Batard-Montrachet to take first place in the battle of white wines and the world started to take notice again. If you haven’t seen the film Bottle Shock then do yourself a favour and click on this link!
In the 1990’s California Chardonnay took a beating with it’s over-oaked tropical fruit-bombs bringing ABC – Anything But Chardonnay – into our lexicon; hell, even then Prime Minister John Major jumped on that bandwagon! But these days the wines can be simply stunning and I implore you to give them a go! I know the Americans amongst you already know this but seriously guys, spend a couple more quid and give the REAL USA a go… forget Gallo and Blossom Hill and try some wine that may well blow your mind!
Or if you want to do it properly… Get yourself a bottle of Au Bon Climat!
I’ll be drinking plenty this side of the pond, make sure you pick up a bottle and tell us what you think… Happy holidays!