Complex, rich, layered, an elegant and thoughtful white driven by fruit and classic structure
Ripeness governs Chardonnay’s character: in the hot sun of the new world it can be soft and lazy, but grown in France it shows both rich fullness and characters of lemon, apple, peaches and figs, along with well-finessed aromas of sweet vanilla, cream, beeswax and minerality.
Between lush mouthfeel and a smooth finish it’s tempting to drink alone, but the firm acidity and bold fruit complements a wide range of foods—try semi-soft cheeses, herbed fish dishes, grilled vegetables, and seafood (especially lobster!) Keep this wine in mind for holiday entertaining, as nothing tames a turkey like a rich, satisfying Chardonnay.
Limited Edition kits come from the peak of the vintage: Master Vintner searches the world for the very best grapes and juices, from prestigious vineyards in the best growing regions. Competition for these grapes is fierce, and supply is limited: we can make only a small number of these truly exceptional kits, once a year
Master Vintner Limited Edition 2016
Master Vintner Limited Edition wines for 2016 come from France, the birthplace and spiritual home of fine wine. In the 21st century we see France as a unified whole, home of an eclectic and egalitarian people enjoying a typically French lifestyle of great wine and fabulous cuisine.
But the truth is that while France is the cradle of winemaking excellence, by which all other wines are measured, and it produces more fine wine than any other country in the world, history has shaped each region's distinct character, from the sublime intensity of Bordeaux, to the languid elegance of Burgundy, and all the myriad regions that make up the dizzying variety of French wine.
France has pioneered the term 'terroir' (tear-wahr), the set of all environmental factors that affect a crop's epigenetic qualities, unique environment contexts and farming practices, when the crop is grown in a specific habitat. It is the 'is-ness' that defines the soul of that a wine takes from the place it is grown. French wines, with centuries to adapt the vine to the land and vice-versa, get their unique character, complexity and richness from a long game of patience between land and vine.
Burgundy could not be more different from Bordeaux: inland, in the east of France, Burgundy is renowned for its Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir). The climate is continental with hot summers and very cold winters, with wild, raging continental storms periodically beating the vineyards down, and the frost threatening harvests, particularly in the northe. The soils vary from chalk in the hills of Chablis, through limestone and clay down to granite farther south.
While Bordeaux has been a shipping port for twenty centuries, until relatively recent times, the only way in or out of Burgundy was a donkey-track. As such, the wines developed in isolation, becoming idiosyncratic, complex and almost mysterious. Fans of Burgundy say that drinking Bordeaux is like doing algebra, while drinking Burgundy is like experiencing a dream.
Also unlike Bordeaux, the vineyards of Burgundy consist of a thousands of small holdings dating back to Napoleonic times, when the law saw the division and subdivision of land amongst family members: in some areas, with no two rows owned by the same farmer, the wines became even more individualistic and quirky, with growers using the most traditional of techniques, stubbornly fermenting only a single variety, carefully blending every barrel to express the deepest character of their wine, and then letting it go, like a lush, gorgeous dream.