Matchbook Old Head Chardonnay 2010

matchbookchardThe 2010 Matchbook Old Head (refers to used oak barrels) Chardonnay is sourced 98% from the Matchbook Vineyards (sustainably farmed) in the Dunnigan Hills AVA and 2% from the Dutton Ranch Mill Station Vineyard in the Russian River Valley AVA. The grapes are picked at night, because the they are juicier when the weather is cool, if you wait until the heat of the day, you get less juice. The Dunnigan Hills AVA is a half hour northwest of Sacramento and was put on the map by RH Phillips (best known for Toasted Head wines) which were owned by the Giguiere family, RH Phillips was purchased by large wine group and Crew Wines, Matchbook is one of their labels, is their new project. Dunnigan Hills is hot during the day and cool at night, giving the area a Mediterranean-like climate. 22% of the Chardonnay from the Matchbook Vineyard is aged in new French and Hungarian oak barrels, the remaining 78% is aged in 2 to 5 year old French oak barrels, the Russian River portion is aged in stainless steel tanks. Even though this is 100% Chardonnay, 6 different Chardonnay clones were used, so it is a blend of sorts. The alcohol content is 13.9%.

The color is clear, shiny golden yellow. The nose is a stew of oranges, pineapple, honey and apples. This is a creamy Chardonnay with a light touch of butter from the oak and bright fresh fruit and citrus flavors. It tastes of apple cider, lemon chiffon, peach, pear and slight dash of butter. The mid palate showcases bright, balanced acidity, along with a little melon and dried apricot. The acidity gives this Chardonnay  some length and structure. The finish is full and  long.

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The 2010 Matchbook Chardonnay is a very appealing wine, creamy, tasty, well made with a solid structure and basically a single vineyard Chard at a multiple AVA price. The Matchbook Chardonnay lists for $14.99, I found it on sale for $9.99 (this is a crazy good Chard at that price). A versatile wine, the Matchbook has the structure and acidity to handle spicy Asian, seafood or beer brats on the grill and it drinks well enough to shut up that wine snob friend of yours.


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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.