I admit — I know way more about food than wine, even though I’ve probably gone to over 500 wine trade tastings, judgings and events over the last 10 years! So the pressure was on when I was given the assignment to a great bring a bottle of California Chardonnay (not my favorite white by a long shot) to the 38th-birthday party dinner being given for a major wine writer. The majority of the other guests were all “in-the trade,” so I didn’t want to embarass myself-nor did I want to spend a fortune.
After browsing through all the local chards, I came across a bottle of 2005 Landmark Overlook Chardonnay, selling for around $20. I knew that Landmark made some excellent wines. In 1989, John Deere’s (of the steel-plow Deeres,) great-great-grandaughter built a spectacular state-of-the-art Spanish Mission style winery in the Sonoma Valley. But I had never tasted their 2005 Landmark Chard (74% Sonoma, 16% Santa Barbara, and 10% Monterey fruit) before.
This complex white was like drinking gourmet trail mix: reminiscent of toasty almonds, apple and orange bits, and coconut. That was my satisfied opinion. My more serious winer friends liked the excellent acidity, raved about the mouth feel, felt it would hold up well for the next few years, and thought it offered good value for the price.
It paired beautifully with our Chinese BBQ pork dim sum appetizer, as well as with a killer-rich dish of wild mushroom raviolis covered with triple cream cheese sauce.
A: 101 Adobe Canyon Road, Highway 12, Kenwood, CA 95452.
By Vagablond’s Token Redhead.
(Editor’s Note: Besides a wonderful tasting room, Landmark Winery also offers a beautifully appointed, one bedroom guest cottage overlooks their vineyard, with a full kitchen, a sunny sitting room, bath and laundry facilities. There’s also an elegantly decorated Guest Suite with an unparalleled view of Sonoma Valley’s Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain. It’s furnished with twin beds, features a private patio and a romantic fireplace.)