Log In / Join Now

Magazine Archives: July 31, 2011

Chardonnay’s New Frontier

The strong 2009 vintage features some stylistic changes as California winemakers play to a less-is-more mindset
James Laube
Issue: July 31, 2011

Wine Spectator's James Laube reports that California Chardonnay is breaking out of its stylistic holding pattern with a spectrum of wines that reflect some careful rethinking on the part of winemakers. It's not a wholesale change, but rather a subtle shift. More grapes are being picked at lower sugars and higher acids, and from cooler vineyard sites. More wines are being made with less oak-or without oak entirely-and no malolactic fermentation, the secondary fermentation that produces a more familiar style of richness and depth. Fans of this less-is-more approach will find a lot to like among recent releases on retail shelves and wine lists.

For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands June 28, 2011.

To continue reading this page, become a WineSpectator.com member today!

Do you have a Wine Spectator magazine subscription? Save 50% on your Online Membership right now!

Already a member?

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.