2007 S|K|N Chardonnay | Napa Valley
Screw | Kappa | Napa. So charming. And Napa often sorely lacks in charm. Is the stereotype/reputation of Americans only making bombastic nukes that are simply utterly undrinkable fair, or is it uncomfortable for the yanks because it's true? Is the high alcohol, passively-aggressive sweetness of the wines simply a product of the Californian landscape or, more self-consciously (for you Americans), simply the red white and blue palate?
Americans have a lot to be proud of, but these turgid $100+ Napa franken-wine makers ought to be ashamed of themselves. It's a shame that so many Californian producers feel that the only way to be successful is to make the wine taste like nothing - not of the grape, not of the land, not of the vintage. But we're compelled to come back. Even ditzes have appeal, at times. Don't lie...shy and delicate is nice and all, but who doesn't turn their head for a second look at the voluptuous brunette with, as Yeezy says, an ass that would swallow up a . . . . .
This was not one of those.
We were hosting dinner, so I was a bit nervous with the wines I was serving. I don't believe in serving the same things over and over - too boring. So I pick out some interesting looking bottles and hope for the best. Dinner turned out great; so happy that the wines performed as well. Our first one of the night. Napa Chardonnay under screw cap, young. Sometimes going for the blockbusters will bite you in the ass, hard. The wieners who charge you $75 get too ambitious you see . . . all designer yeasts and new oak and calisthenics in the cellars. This was a refreshing (figuratively and literally) example of what Napa can do with this varietal if the paople making it humble themselves and take a step back. Wine that doesn't drink well with meals simply does not belong on the table, and it's as if an entire generation of New World producers lacks that basic fundamental understanding.
The wine was fresh, with great varietal character. Ripe fruit, with a creaminess, but the acidity and moderate alcohol made it a joy to drink. And you know it was a good wine when everyone around the table, even the neophyte drinkers, wanted a second (and third) glass. Great start to the meal.