No doubt you have it marked on your calendar – National Chardonnay Day is May 25th. Chardonnay is the most consumed wine in the country, accounting for 20 percent of all wine purchased. And while California remains the hotbed of Chardonnay production, Washington State is making significant contributions to the growing demand for this versatile white.
Chardonnay first arrived in Washington state in the early 60’s but it wasn’t immediately popular, with only nine acres planted by 1968. Fast forward fifty years and it’s a very different story. Last fall, 45,000 tons of Chardonnay grapes were harvested from nearly every AVA in the state, an amount second only to Cabernet Sauvignon.
A few Woodinville winemakers have racked up big scores for their Chardonnay: Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded 94 points to both Gorman Winery’s 2013 The Big Sissy Chardonnay and JM Cellars’ 2012 Chardonnay. Both wines were also included in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines in the World.
The Chardonnay options currently available in Woodinville tasting rooms vary in terms of style, from creamy and oaky to crisp and citrusy. Here’s a roundup of some of the Chardonnays just waiting to be tasted:
Lauren Ashton Cellars 2015 Chardonnay is full-bodied, with a hint of oak and a nose of pineapple and marshmallows. It has a creamy mid-palate with a hint of minerality highlighted by complex notes of pear, spice and vanilla. This Chardonnay would pair well with buttery shrimp scampi, cream-based pasta dishes and roasted chicken or lobster.
Sol Stone Winery is releasing their 2016 Stillwater Creek Chardonnay this weekend. It has a balance of pineapple, lemon and citrus aromas. It is richly textured with smooth flavors of tropical fruit, melon, honey and lemon curd with a crisp finish. Sol Stone will be pairing it with a ricotta-lemon crostini for sampling all weekend.
Novelty Hill-Januik is currently including shipping on all Chardonnay orders of six or more bottles now through Monday, May 29th. That offer includes two of their most popular Chardonnays: The Januik 2015 Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay has hints of citrus, pear, and honeycrisp apple as well as a slight mineral quality. It has a rich creamy texture on the palate and a bright lingering finish. And the Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay is rich and creamy, with fresh pear aromas and a lively core of ripe apple, spicy pear and juicy citrus built on a smooth frame that supports a rich, round mid-palate and long, bright finish.
With sun and warmer temperatures in the forecast, this weekend is the perfect time to raise a glass to National Chardonnay Day and stock up on your favorites for summer!