Medium gold color with green hint; green apple, melon, white flowers, almond on the nose; apple, starfruit, tangerine, peach on the palate.
Dry; medium body; good acidity. Crisp, clean, fresh, straightforward; 100% chardonnay, all fermented and finished in stainless steel; no oak or butter; some creamy minerality (that is taste and texture, not actual minerals floating around in the wine). This effort demonstrates the delicious ripe fruit and varietal purity a warm-climate chardonnay delivers when the winemaker gets out of the way and lets the fruit speak for itself. Pleasantly lingering finish; 13% ABV.
The Spanish winery and vineyards trace their modern roots to 1986 when the Villar family owners began a program of modernizing the entire process. A new winery opened in 1994 and quickly became a tourist destination, thanks to the historic Manjardin castle ruins. Sonia Olano and Victor del Villar were the principals drivers, and they quickly assert “we are not a winery that just sits back and continues to produce the same wine, year in year out. Our interest in innovative wine-making processes has led us to produce different wines, wines that stand out from the crowd, with an exceedingly high standard of quality.”
The winery website notes: “Castillo de Monjardin is located in the northwest of Navarra in the foothills of the Pyrenées, not far from the French border. Originally, the castle of Monjardin was very important for the Kingdom of Navarra during the XII century under the King Sancho Garces, today it’s a famous pilgrimage route from Paris to Santiago de Campostella. The proximity and historic cultural links to France provide a winemaking tradition based on Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, distinct from the rest of Spain. Monjardín makes good use of the Garnacha and Pinot Noir that are fresh and fruit forward reds.”
Castillo Monjardin Chardonnay El Cerezo 2017 is wonderfully fruit-forward expression of warm-weather chardonnay with no oak or butter to interfere with the fruit. Nice. Fabulous price, which often is what you get from Spain. It is not complex, it just is deliciously friendly in the mouth. At its price point, this is can’t-go-wrong wine. Un-oaked chardonnay pairs with almost any light fare. Pair with fish and seafood in general; crab-stuffed flounder; pork tenderloin; curry, Mexican and other spicy dishes; ham/bacon and eggs. You easily can enjoy this solo around patio or pool when served well chilled. $8-11