Maker: Wente, Livermore, California, USA
Place of origin: Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey, California, USA
Purchased for around $20 (lost the receipt)
Appearance: Light gold,
Nose: Canned pears, lychee, dab of brown butter.
Palate: Medium sweet. Golden apples, then buttery with a little bitter oak on the back end.
Finish: Oak, then green apple with a little bit of butter, then acrid oak.
Parting words: I don’t remember where I picked this up. It may have been Trader Joe’s. Before I dove into Michigan wine, I used to buy a lot of California Chardonnay, especially Wente. It’s nice to go back and check out a wine like that, especially a line extension like this Riva Ranch Single Vineyard. Riva Ranch is a Wente family owned vineyard.
It’s firmly in the California style, of course, Wente being one of the inventors of that style. Going by memory, it’s more intensely flavored than Morning Fog and as it warms up some unpleasant bitter tastes creep in, but overall it’s a tasty wine. I would appreciate more fruit, but those who enjoy the oaky/buttery style of Chard will probably enjoy this more than I.
The price is fair (though I wouldn’t pay much more than $20) and it’s nice that it’s single vineyard. Wente’s Riva Ranch Single Vineyard is recommended.