Chardonnay, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2012)
Awarded a Gold Medal by the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, this creamy Chardonnay shows off tropical aromas of cantaloupe melon, candied pear and honeysuckle that lead to flavors of marzipan, fresh pear and toasted coconut. The finish is soft and delicate.
Fruit for this elegant Chardonnay comes from Sonoma Valley, which is bordered by two mountain ranges: the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west. The region’s moderate climate and cool breezes prolong ripening and lengthen hang time, promoting natural balance in this wine.
It’s no secret our 2012 harvest was outstanding, with ideal weather and an abundance of exceptional fruit. Warm, moderate temperatures throughout the growing season allowed our fruit to reach the perfect state of ripeness without sacrificing balance and intensity. With no heat spikes, cold weather or rain, the fruit ripened evenly and developed great color and concentration, producing wines with rich flavors and excellent structure.
The fruit is hand-picked at night to preserve the wine’s delicate flavors, aromas and acidity. Grapes are pressed 100% whole cluster, then fermented sur lie with natural yeasts in a temperature-controlled room to ensure slow fermentation. The wine goes through partial, natural malolactic fermentation, creating a soft, balanced mouthfeel. Aging occurs for seven months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new.
San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Warm Goat Cheese and Pear Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Goat Cheese Rounds
• 1 ¼ cups fresh white breadcrumbs
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
• 11 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 8 rounds
• 2 eggs beaten to blend
• ½ cup all purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 small shallot, minced
• ½ cup canola oil
• ¼ cup walnut oil
• 8 cups mixed baby greens
• 2 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
• 2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices*
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Mix breadcrumbs and thyme in a pie tin. Season the goat cheese with salt, pepper,
and bread by dipping the goat cheese into the flour, then into the beaten egg, then
into breadcrumbs. The goat cheese can be breaded and refrigerated up to one day
ahead of time.
Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and minced shallot in small bowl to blend. Gradually
whisk in ½ cup of canola oil, and the ¼ cup of walnut oil; season to taste with salt and
pepper. Combine mixed greens, Belgian endive and pears in large bowl.
Place the walnuts on a parchment lined sheet pan and toast in a 325ºF oven for about
Heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches,
add cheese rounds to skillet and cook until crisp and brown on outside and soft on
inside, about 2 minutes per side.
In a large bowl toss the salad with salt, pepper and enough vinaigrette to coat the
greens. Divide among 4 plates. Place 2 warm cheese rounds in center of each salad
and sprinkle the walnuts over the top.
* Be sure to cut the pears at the last minute so they do not brown.