Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cedar Mountain Winery 2004 Chardonnay, Blanches Vineyard (Livermore Valley)

Cedar Mountain Winery

2004 Chardonnay, Blanches Vineyard
(Livermore Valley)

Earl and Linda Ault, owners of Cedar Mountain Winery on Tesla Road, are trying to be retired nuclear physicists, but the Lawrence Livermore Lab always seems to find a reason to keep them busy doing something. When they’re not doing whatever nuclear physicists do (I didn’t ask), they’re busy expanding the vineyard, buying more equipment for the winery, bottling wine for somebody and making wine for somebody else.

Earl has become the go-to guy for small winemakers without crush facilities, and he also helps out many of the vineyard owners who have a little too much fruit and who need to do something with it -- i.e., make their own wine, lest it become bird food at way too many $’s per bird. Earl is somewhat of a gadget guy, so he has to have all the latest everything in the winery. He ended up buying a bottling line from J. Lohr a number of years ago, and decided to pay for it by bottling other people’s wines. Now, he says, the only problem is, he barely has time to bottle his own!

I was impressed by this Chardonnay, which comes from Blanches vineyard, which is the Ault’s 14-acre estate property. Blanche is Linda’s nickname. (You never know, winery people often name their vineyards after cats.) It’s a very deep gold color, and has a ripe nose of pears, honey, sweet oak and melon. On the palate, it delights with flavors of baked apples and poached pears with toasty nutty caramel notes from the obvious oak. There are also pleasant tangerine notes on the finish, which lingers long and changes over to pure butterscotch as it oozes down your throat. This is a rich wine for those who like drinking a Chardonnay that is akin to biting into a dipped caramel apple at the county fair. It certainly brought back memories of not being able to do that while I was wearing braces as a kid. Years later, I don’t regret the braces, and you won’t regret buying this wine either.

(Alc: 13.7%, Retail: $18)

Reviewed October 24, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Cedar Mountain Winery


The Wine

Winery: Cedar Mountain Winery
Vineyard: Blanches Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Livermore Valley
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $18.00

Review Date: 10/24/2006

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.