The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 is a brand and winery from Taub Family Selections, which are mainly importers but have their own vineyards and wineries. They have a very extensive portfolio of wines. This Chardonnay is sourced from grapes grown in Mendocino, Monterey, and Lodi.
That is a textbook example of why the Chardonnay shows California on the labels the place of origin. Mendocino is inside the North Coast AVA, Monterey is inside the Central Coast AVA, and Lodi is an independent AVA. Since on one AVA provided 75% of the grapes California law says it is a California wine.
Mendocino and Monterey were chosen sine the vineyards are located in cool Coastal growing areas. The cool climate provides the grapes with a long, full growing season. Lodi is inland, situated in the river valley delta flowing from the San Pablo Bay, east of Oakland. Lodi is cool enough to grow grapes but has the heat to produce ripe, juicy grapes. The winemaker wanted that contrast in the wine.
The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018, Mon Fére translates to “My Brother”, was fermented in stainless steel tanks, and Burgundy Isolates yeast was used for fermentation. Burgundy Isolates yeast is a yeast strain used in Burgundy for wines that were intended to keep their bright fruit-forward nature for a long period of time.
The 2019 vintage of this wine was released a short time ago. A 2018 vintage Chardonnay in 2022 indicates the Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 was produced with techniques that would take some time for the wine to find its balance and be ready for release. That and the upscale yeast shows that the winemaker put great care in the making of this Chardonnay.
The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 was aged in French oak for 10 months. This is a wine with very respectable technical specifications. This Chard underwent partial malolactic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation changes the natural acid of the grapes from tart to more rounded tasting. So in addition to the coastal and inland grapes, this Chardonnay will feature both types of acidity. The price should be around $15 with $12 when on sale. The alcohol content is 14.1%.
The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is shiny sunshine yellow. The nose is on the toasty side, lemon, melon, green apple, marshmallows over an open fire, peach and pear, grapefruit, and spring flowers. The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 is a wine with excellent length and a slightly complicated flavor profile.
This Chardonnay tastes like a stew of ripe apple, Meyer lemon, and not sweet butterscotch, followed by oak spice, and a touch of cream. The mid-palate introduces that salty/nutty thing, nectarine, and a harder spice finish.
The acidity is excellent. The French name may well refer to the Burgundian yeast and style of acidity.
- The Mon Fére Chardonnay 2018 is an excellent Chardonnay.
- I like a wine that has a story behind it, why the grapes were chosen, why the particular strain of yeast is used, how the production techniques are beyond the typical value-priced wine.
- Wines with a story taste better.