Two Highly Recommended Chardonnays from California's De Loach
The Boisset family, with vineyards in Burgundy, have owned De Loach in California since 2003. Jean-Charles immediately noticed the similarities with Burgundy and the potential for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They dug up all the existing vineyards and replanted using biodynamic techniques and produced their first wines in 2010.
De Loach Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County 2015, 14.5%, €29.99
Stockists: JJ O’Driscolls, Ballinlough; Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown; Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants; Donnybrook Fair; Clontarf Wines; Red Island Wine, Skerries; Lilac Wines, Fairview; La Touche Wines, Greystones; The Wicklow Wine Co; Grapevine;
This judiciously oaked Chardonnay is well balanced with a round mouthfeel and a lively acidity. The fruit comes from the heart of the Russian valley and the juice was fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks (40%) and French oak barrels (60%), of which 10% were new. The barrel fermented portion of wine was aged for nine months and achieved full malolactic conversion.
It has a light straw colour with a pleasing mix of aromas (apple, peach and lime). That almost creamy mouthfeel, flavours (citrus led) plus a vibrant acidity combine to make this a really harmonious wine, all the way through to a long gratifying finish. Highly Recommended.
This Chardonnay pairs well with a variety of light dishes and effortlessly combines the two distinct styles of crisp refinement and rich elegance.
De Loach “Heritage Collection” Chardonnay California 2017, 13.5%, €19.99
Stockists: JJ O’Driscolls, Ballinlough; Searsons Wine Merchants, Monkstown; Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants; Donnybrook Fair; Clontarf Wines; Baggot Street Wines; Red Island Wine, Skerries; Lilac Wines, Fairview; Blackrock Cellar; La Touche Wines 4U; The Wicklow Wine Co; Grapevine, Dalkey; Finian Sweeney;
Colour of this classy restrained Chardonnay is light to mid yellow. Honeydew melon is prominent in the bouquet. What follows is a beautiful melange of tropical flavours (with pineapple and mango in there). Rich, soft and harmonious, right to the lingering finalé. Easy drinking, delicious and Highly Recommended.
For the 'Heritage Collection' series, Russian River Valley grapes are combined with those from selected premier cool-climate growing regions in California, particularly the Central Coast, to produce an approachable, good value range. De Loach practises sustainable viticulture and minimally intrusive winemaking.
Indeed, they take great pride in their “tri-fold heritage, a family company with deep Burgundian roots, and stewards of the land that we have for future generations”.
An interesting note from the winery saying that the majority of the must was cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures, to retain the fresh fruit flavours in the finished wine. “The remaining fruit was barrel fermented, which produced a more richly textured wine. These wines were then blended together to produce a balanced, textured and fruit-forward wine.” By the way, there is two per cent Sauvignon Blanc in there too.