Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cedar Mountain Winery 2005 Chardonnay del Sol  (Livermore Valley)

Cedar Mountain Winery

2005 Chardonnay del Sol
(Livermore Valley)

Livermore isn’t my favorite place for Chardonnay: I think it’s far too warm to retain proper acidity, and much of the stuff is just too grapey and usually woody to boot. However, port made from Chardonnay can really shine, and this effort by Earl Ault of Cedar Mountain captures the pure essence of warm California sunshine in all its golden glory. The name “Chardonnay del Sol” is spot on.

Ault has really expanded his line of ports over time, adding port made from real Portuguese varietals to his Cabernet Sauvignon version. They are all extremely pleasant, balanced and rich.

One of his best efforts is this Chardonnay port, made from estate fruit and fortified with brandy. This is gorgeous in the glass, with tantalizing aromas of baked apples, a hint of bananas and mangoes. Flavors are juicy ripe peaches and apricots, with butterscotch and toffee and a hint of ginger. Yes, it’s on the sweet side, but there is a nice bit of acidity to hold it at bay. The texture is rich and oozing with golden nectar.

Paired simply with ginger biscotti, or an apricot stilton cheese with cream crackers, and spiced pecans, this is a delightful way to finish off a holiday repast. Serve it with plain, creamy homemade cheesecake, and you have an unbelievably decadent experience: divine and beyond rich. A nice apricot-almond tart would also be wonderful. Just in time for the holidays, the other perfect pair might well be your good old-fashioned fruitcake. Make sure it’s a nutty one and you’ll wonder why fruitcakes ever fell out of favor. One sip of this port, and you may change your mind about ports altogether.

(Alc: 19%, Retail: $18.75/375ml)

Reviewed November 30, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Cedar Mountain Winery


The Wine

Winery: Cedar Mountain Winery
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Chardonnay del Sol
Appellation: Livermore Valley
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 375ml $18.75

Review Date: 11/30/2006

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.