Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate2006 Chardonnay
(Malibu Newton Canyon)
This finely made Chardonnay hails from the most unlikely of places. Don’t let the appellation designation fool you on this one. Malibu-Newton Canyon may be a stone’s throw from the famous beach of the same name, but the similarities end there. Instead of sand and salty sea spray, the growing conditions of this protected high elevation canyon are marked by a craggy terrain of porous soils and a microclimate shielded from the immediate influences of the sea air.
The uniqueness of the site is well represented by Google mapping satellite images which illustrate the dramatic setting of the vineyards, located some 1400 feet above Malibu beach, and surrounded by the urban sprawl of LA. So unique are the conditions of the area that winery owner George I. Rosenthal was successful in 1996 in attaining AVA recognition for the growing area.
This Chardonnay is remarkably demure considering its proximity to so much celebrity and glitz. The winemaker here is the venerable Christian Roguenant who was raised and trained in Burgundy, and the Burgundy influences do show in this Southern California wine.
Fermented in French oak barrels and aged sur lie the wine displays mild oak and hazelnut aromas integrated with stone fruit and baked apple with lemony overtones. Overall, this wine is on the less tropical end of the aroma/flavor profile spectrum, not surprising as the grapes were harvested at a very moderate 22.4 Brix and fermented without M-L so the wine retains its verve and elegance. This is a solid California Chardonnay and a great example of appellation distinctiveness.
Reviewed June 30, 2008 by Adam Dial.
Other Awards & Accolades
Gold Medal -- 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.