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yay for chardonnayYAY for Chardonnay!
Viognier is Virginia’s official state grape, and Virginia wineries are bottling some excellent wine made from it.  However, my preference is still for Chardonnay.

No, I am not a member of the ABC (anything but chardonnay) club.  And yes, the supermarkets are glutted with mediocre Chardonnay from California; but a well-crafted one is just lovely, and the 2010 Avenius from Linden Vineyards is one example.
I am a fan of the wines that Jim Law produces at Linden Vineyards; he creates his excellent vintages from three sites: vineyards that include his own Hardscrabble location, Boisseau vineyards, and Avenius vineyards.  

Each bears its own unique terrior.  While Hardscrabble soils are rocky and the Boisseau site contains more clay soil, slate dominates the Avenius vineyard, which also has the highest elevation.  

Why is this important?  The Avenius wines tend to be very lean and crisp. However, the 2010 growing season was a classic for Virginia as hot, arid weather prevailed through summer.  The result is a unique Chardonnay from the Avenius site.  Aromas of pear and honey lead to flavors of ripe pear and citrus zest. Judicious use of French oak barrels creates a fuller-bodied yet elegant wine.
The 2010 Avenius Chardonnay is a perfect wine for fall and winter.  Seasonal dishes such as pot pie, chowder or turkey with dressing demand a wine that can meet the challenges of richer fare.  

When considering wine options for your fall/winter menus, don’t ignore Virginia Chardonnays, and with the 2010 Avenius Chardonnay from Linden Vineyards.

—Paul and Warren of Virginia Wine Time
Paul and Warren blog at www.VirginiaWineTime.com
 


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