Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Raymond Vineyard & Cellar 2005 R Collection Chardonnay  (Monterey)

Raymond Vineyard & Cellar

2005 R Collection Chardonnay

Raymond Vineyards has been around in the Napa Valley since 1971, but its R Collection label was just launched in January 2006, replacing the Raymond Estates tier. The R Collection brand encompasses three wines for now: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California Merlot and this racy Monterey Chardonnay.

The grapes come from Raymond’s 300-acre estate vineyard, a property devoted exclusively to Chardonnay, situated in a cool spot near Gonzales. The grapes were harvested mostly at night to help preserve freshness. The winemaking has helped capture that freshness, too. The wine doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation, and winemaker Kenn Vigoda uses a light touch with the oak.

The result is a Chardonnay that’s ultra-crisp, with flavors of green apple, pear and some tropical fruit overtones. There’s just a kiss of oak on the palate. And all this zingy flavor will set you back just $13. I’d happily pair the R Collection Chardonnay with some fresh shellfish, grilled fish or perhaps sushi.

Reviewed October 24, 2006 by Laurie Daniel.

The Wine

Winery: Raymond Vineyard & Cellar
Vintage: 2005
Wine: R Collection Chardonnay
Appellation: Monterey
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $13.00

Review Date: 10/24/2006

The Reviewer

Laurie Daniel

Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.