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Girard’s ability to fashion balanced, flavorful wines comes through loud and clear in the 2010 Girard Russian River Valley Chardonnay. In this classic Russian River offering, beautiful ripe fruit combines with subtle, complex spice tones reminiscent of sandalwood and clove. Add deft touches of butter and oak as well as a fresh, lingering finish flecked with citrus tones and the 2010 Girard Chardonnay positively sings from the glass. This youthful offering was enough to make the tasting panel sing as well. Even an “anything but Chardonnay crowd” to which we subsequently offered this wine could not get enough of it – an auspicious statement indeed. In their 2010 Russian River Chardonnay, Pat Roney and Glenn Hugo have once again succeeded in fashioning an outstanding California Chardonnay from the world’s most renowned white grape variety. Drink this superlative offering moderately chilled (40°-45° F) now and over the next couple of years. We also suggest allowing this Chardonnay a few minutes in the glass to breathe. Like all finely crafted Chardonnays, Girard’s Chardonnay blossoms with a bit of aeration.
Given the balanced charm of the 2010 Girard Russian River Valley Chardonnay, it needs nothing but a good, clean wine glass to shine. However, this wine’s wonderful flavors and superb balance also complement a wide variety of foods. For starters, why not serve the Girard Chardonnay with smoked salmon or gravlax served on toasted French rounds with cream cheese, red onion, and capers? Champagne and French white Burgundy (of which the latter is all Chardonnay) are considered classic accompaniments to smoked salmon, but the 2010 Girard can more than hold its own with its French cousins, and in our experience outshines many of them with its rich, polished flavors. A lobster roll served on a freshly baked baguette or hoagie roll and a tender chicken breast topped with a morel cream sauce offer additional superb accompaniments to the 2010 Girard Chardonnay. Serving a plate of soft, ripe cheeses with this laudable Chardonnay provides a simple, but tasty accompaniment, too. Brie, Camembert, and Havarti are just a few of the many cheeses one can enjoy with Girard’s elegant, flavorful Chardonnay. Enjoy!
Girard came to life in response to the now celebrated 1976 Paris Tasting in which French wine judges in blind tastings awarded top honors to California wines. Since that now famous Paris Tasting, California wines no longer play surrogate to their French cousins and in many ways surpass their Old World counterparts. Girard has taken the decades old challenge even a step further by producing a bevy of knock-out wines from French varietals at prices that don’t reach the stratosphere.
Since 2000, Girard has been owned by Pat Roney, longtime California vintner and the driving force behind much of the early success of Chateau St. Jean, Kunde, and the meteoric rise of food company Dean & DeLuca from a small New York and Washington specialty shop to a national icon. From prime plantings on Diamond and Howell Mountains and century old vines spread throughout Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Roney and winemaker Glenn Hugo produce a bevy of compelling wines. Girard’s outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel all garner top awards for excellence and serve as benchmarks by which other top California wines are now measured. Girard’s trademark over the past three decades has been the ability to fashion wines that combine great intensity with supreme polish and finesse.
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