Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chardonnay the way it was meant to be, and Chardonnay butter!

I realize it's probably bad form to do two blog posts about the same winery inside of a week, but tonight I went back to my favorite cooking with wine book:

...and selected two recipes for tonight's dinner.

For the main course:

Walnut and Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Chardonnay Butter (page 98 if you have the book)

and for a side dish:

Fried Asparagus in a Honey and Walnut Sauce (page 129)

Holy crap.

Both recipes were absolutely delicious; and as good as the chicken was on it's own, covered in the Chardonnay butter, it was even enhanced further by dipping it into the honey/walnut sauce that was draped all over the asparagus.

Seriously good dinner.

And since the recipe specifically called for "Chardonnay butter", I went to my cellar to pull out the only Chardonnay I had on hand:

Quails' Gate 2011 Chardonnay

This is an age-worthy wine; in fact, I had it marked as a "2015" open, but since I needed a Chardonnay, it got popped tonight. I guess I'll just have to go buy another one to replace it for aging.

It brings a slight floral and hazelnut impression on the nose, followed closely by that beautiful butter/butterscotch that comes from the elegance of French oak. "Silky" is a good way to describe this wine. If you like bold and buttery Chardonnay as I do, at a reasonable price point ($25), this is the Chardonnay for you.

Rating: 7/10

There is only one negative thing I can say about the above wine; and that is that it's not nearly as good as it's big brother, which I review below:

Quails' Gate 2010 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay ($45)

This is the King, IMO. Before I had tasted this wine, I was pretty anti-Chardonnay. This one turned it all around.

You like big whites? This is it. Bold? Yup. Buttery? It's like drinking a glass of butterscotch candy, with a chaser of melted butter. When you open up a bottle of this one, you are playing with the Big Boys. This is, simply put, the best Chardonnay I have ever tasted, and quite likely the best white wine, period. I have had many of the vintages, as far back as the '06, and each has been superb. By all means, if you can find this wine, get it and put it away for 4-5 years, as this one ages better than Valerie Bertinelli.

I mean, seriously, that woman is 53 years old. Her parents must have won a bet with God.

Rating: 9/10

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