A recent out-of-town shopping trip led to a very nice wine discovery: Landmark's Overlook Chardonnay.
The 2014 vintage is 100 percent Chardonnay grapes and all from Sonoma County.
The winery was founded in 1974 by a group that included Damaris Deere Ford, great-great-granddaughter of John Deere, — THE John Deere. By 1989 she was the sole owner, and turned the focus exclusively to chardonnay. She hired world-renowned enologist Helen Turley in 1993 to refine the chardonnay and the 1995 vintage made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List, the first of six times so far.
Landmark makes wine old-style, using “... the most time and labor-intensive techniques” to produce their wines. “Grapes are aged in French oak barrels, where naturally occurring wild yeasts ferment the juice,” accordng to the website landmarkwines.com. “This creates complex, aromatic wines with deep, expressive flavors.”
Greg Stach is the current vintner, and he has added pinot noir to Landmark's list. Stach is well known for creating some of California’s best single-vineyard pinot noirs. His philosophy is “less is more” and he works to let the fruit speak for itself.
Landmark Overlook Chardonnay 2014
Vintner: On the nose, the wine features notes of Meyer lemon tarte, marzipan, toasted almonds, Asian pear, honeysuckle and a hint of Tahitian vanilla. On the palate, notes of apricot, clover honey and toast are in perfect balance with zippy acidity and bright minerality.
The 2014 Overlook Chardonnay will pair beautifully with lemon and garlic chicken with mushrooms.
Critics: Wine Spectator, 90 points. 88 points from Wine Magazine and Wine and Spirits. Silver medals at Los Angeles International Wine Competition, TEXSOM International Wine Awards and San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
GG: The first sip is creamy and spicy, followed by an acidic touch to balance. I can smell oak and baking spices, taste butter, cream and lighter spices such as almond and white pepper, with apricot. The dryness on the end has a touch of tangerine and pith.
This is a rich chardonnay but not too heavy, great for sipping or with chicken or pork, cutting through an Alfredo or a Kung Pao sauce. An excellent white for the fall; I will be returning to them for the pinot noir.