The 2010 Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay is sourced from Wente Estate vineyards located in Livermore Valley AVA and the San Francisco Bay AVA of California’s Central Coast AVA. Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously family owned and operated winery in America (founded in 1883). In 1913, Ernest Wente imported Chardonnay vines from France and developed the Wente Chardonnay Clone vine, it is now the most widely planted type of Chardonnay vine in California. The name Morning Fog refers to the fog coming off the Pacific Ocean and into the San Francisco Bay area virtually every morning. 50% of this Chardonnay was aged, on lees, in French oak barrels and the remaining 50% was aged, on lees, in stainless steel tanks. The term “on lees” indicates the yeast and grape residue are left in the barrels and tanks during aging, which imparts nutty flavors and with stirring a creamy texture. The alcohol content is 1.5%.
The color is Del Monte canned peaches syrup yellow. The nose is pear, grapefruit, peach, pineapple and a touch of orange blossom honey. There is a full, rounded mouthfeel, this Chardonnay starts off with a buttery crackers and apples, followed soft caramel, peach and grapefruit. The mid palate adds a touch of citrus spice and pear. The acidity is well balanced, it is mostly hidden by the fruit, but shows up on the finish. The finish is buttery apple and pear and lasts a good length of time.
The Wente Estate Morning Fog Chardonnay is a lot of wine for the money (should be available for between $10 to $13). There is a very attractive creamy texture and a nice touch of spice to go along with the fruit and citrus flavors. This is an oaked Chardonnay, but the oak is not heavy handed, it adds flavor and texture but does not overpower the main body of the wine. A solid, versatile Chardonnay, it will pair well with a wide variety of cuisines and makes for a rather classy patio sipper.