100% Chardonnay from Leyda Valley, Chile.
SRP of $18 and available for as low as $13. Sample received courtesy Wines of Chile for review purposes.
From the bottle:
"The Medalla Real collection represents the tremendous diversity and wealth of Chile's terroirs, influenced by the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. Santa Rita's winemakers and vitivulturists have carefully chosen the best sectors of the country's most distinct wine regions in order to express the wide range of terroirs and capture the full potential and unique character of each variety that distinguishes the Medalla Real wines.
The grapes that go into the Medalla Real Chardonnay come from the Leyda Valley, whose cool climate is strongly influenced by the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, the low-lying Coastal Mountains, and the morning fog. This greenish-yellow wine combines aromas of fresh fruits and citrus with dried fruits and nuts. Distinctly mineral in character with a fresh palate, good volume, a creamy texture, and a long, lingering finish. The wine was fermented and aged in French oak barrels for 7 months.
I can't count the number of times I see wineries promote the fact that their vineyards grow on the slopes of mountains or at altitude. It's a selling fact because these wines tend to develop different characteristics and it is believed the larger temperature differences between day and night in these areas contribute to stronger flavors in the grapes. If this is all true, then Chile should be a winemaker's paradise considering 80% of the country is covered by mountains! And in the case of these coastal whites, the low lying coastal mountains allow just enough of the frigid Pacific breeze to get through and cool the vineyards to enhance the growing conditions.
The 2010 Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Chardonnay begins with a really strong bouquet of citrus, creamy vanilla and some nutty notes. Tasting this creamy, smooth and silky wine shows flavors of tropical fruit and citrus much like the bouquet. On the finish there is some toasty oak along with lingering nutty notes. This would be a very good wine for Chardonnay lovers who prefer their wine to spend time in oak. And while the oak is definitely not overdone if you strongly prefer unoaked Chards it may be too much for you.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.