When I had first tasted this almost a year ago during a tasting with Debbie Huneken, she warned me that this was not just any old Chardonnay. She was right. This, in my opinion is how I like my Chardonnay. And now, I can’t stop searching for Chardonnay like this.
Channing Daughters Winery 2007 L’Enfant Sauvage Chardonnay ($35) is now sold out, the 2008 was just released, is simply translated to “Wild Child”. This chardonnay is spontaneous wild fermented and goes throughout a second spontaneous fermentation, wild malo-lactic fermentation, all while being aged in new French and Slovenian oak. The wine ages on lees for about 12-14 months before it is blended and bottled.
On the nose I was picking up notes of warm buttered toast with delicious yeasty notes. Followed by apple pear and peach. Warm baking spices show with hints of vanilla and nuts, think fresh hazelnut. In the background I noticed a salinity note.
On the palate, baked apple and white pepper lead the way with bright acidity and notes of tropical citrus. More warm spices with pineapple, pear and some peach appear at the back-end with a hint of creamy butterscotch.
The wine is lush and delicate at the same time. It’s creamy, bright and delicious with the wood influence not squashing the beautiful fruit of the Chardonnay. This wine is well-balanced that really craves food.
If you have not had this wine, please make it a point to try it out. I am hoping to get my hands on the 2008 offering and from here on out, trying to keep some in my cellar for the long-term.