2017 Forman Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California (750 ml)

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Forman is founded on a philosophy of winemaking which follows a more traditional approach as opposed to a technological one. Ric began his career in the late 1960's at Sterling Vineyard and then at Newton. During his tenure at Newton he took a trip to Bordeaux and his viewpoint on winemaking was forever changed. Ric returned to Napa and started to use techniques that he learned in France and were essentially unheard of in California. Many of these practices are now taken for granted in fine wine production in California. Grapes are gently handled from harvest through fermentation. Small stainless steel fermenters for red wines and new Burgundy barrels for white seem fitting for the need to pay close attention to detail during the winemaking process. Deep caves have been constructed which maintain a cool dark and humid environment in which to age red wine in new French oak barrels. The wines literally age in the soils from which they grew. The 2017 Chardonnay is a gorgeous wine. In this warm, early year, the Forman Chardonnay is a bit more tropical and racy than it usually is, but that just makes it easier to drink and enjoy over the next handful of years. Lemon peel, apple, apricot and mint are all generous in the glass, but there is a terrific sense of plushness that runs through the Chardonnay. From winery proprietor Ric Forman: "A passion for a more austere Chablis style wine from this noble grape (Chardonnay) has been my goal for more than 36 years. Since 1980 the Rutherford Star vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench appellation has been the source of the Forman Vineyard Chardonnay. It has continued to produce consistent quality over the last 20 years. The Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed and exclusively fermented in Burgundy barrels. Left sur-lees for 7 months the wine is only racked once during its 9 months of barrel aging. Malolactic fermentation is intentionally inhibited. The wine emphasizes and develops a minerality which, with age, develops into a very racy and elegant food worthy wine

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