Medium gold-hint of green color; peach, orange peel, pineapple, apple, flowers on the nose; pear, Meyer lemon, green apple, honeydew melon, grapefruit, pineapple, minerality, spice on the palate.
Dry; lively acidity and minerality; rich, full-bodied; extremely smooth, almost oily in the mouth. Solid backbone of acidity and minerality plays out from initial attack through long finish and makes this a superior food wine. It does not drink like your standard oak-and-butter (even those done well), nor your all-stainless austerity chard (even those are when done well) commodity chardonnays, so some sippers may be confused. Recalibrate. Welcome to the myriad ways chardonnay can play on your palate.
Finished in French oak, 25% new, 75% neutral. This is enjoyable now, but solid enough to age and improve for a decade—yes, quality whites can age. 100% chardonnay grapes sourced from vineyard in southern part of the Napa Valley, close to the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay.
The operation is owned by Ted, Laddie, and Christopher Hall. They employ an integrated, organic farming system, using simple, sustainable methods. Each part of the ranch contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens. All crops are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
According to the website: “In the late 1800’s, the majestic Long Meadow Ranch property thrived with vineyards, apple orchards, olive groves, hay and a goat milk dairy until farming fell dormant during Prohibition. Over the following years, the property became swallowed by the encroaching forest until the Halls bought the property in 1989.”
“The Hall family carefully breathed life back into the land, nurturing it back to its glory, and then some, by cutting back the abandoned olive trees and replanting the vineyards and apple orchards as you see them growing today. Home to the Mayacamas Estate, the rugged 650-acre landscape nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains also gave way to a long, sweeping meadow, thus the name Long Meadow Ranch was born.”
Today, Long Meadow Ranch farms includes three counties with more than 2,000 acres of grapes, olives, fruits, vegetables, and pasture land. Their vision: “To be a family-owned producer and purveyor of world-class wine and food that is economically successful and socially responsible using diversified, sustainable, and organic farming methods.” Their motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming.”
Long Meadow Ranch Chardonnay, Anderson Valley 2016 is an elegant, attractive, higher end chardonnay without the oak and butter of commodity pours. With its acidity and reserved butter, vanilla, and wood, a fabulous food friend. With its quality, an example of chardonnay that can be put down for aging for 10 years. You pay more. You get more. Pair with roast chicken; turkey; grilled salmon; seafoood pot pie; risotto with wild mushrooms; apricot-stuffed breast of veal; kale salad with chile pequin, lemon dressing and toasted parmesan. $39