Forman 2020 Chardonnay Estate/Star Vineyard Rutherford Napa Valley
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Ric Forman, Winemaker Notes: “In California and Australia, wines made from Chardonnay tend to be bold with ripe fruit and a lavish splash of new oak and even in some cases, a touch of residual sugar. In Europe they are somewhat more restrained, subtle and with a sappy fresh acid/fruit balance which makes the wine very enjoyable with food. I am lucky at Forman Vineyard to only make a small quantity of wine from Chardonnay; about 500 cases annually, and therefore I don’t have to please a large audience. The style I like most is Chablis. Can I make wine from Chardonnay in Napa Valley that is exactly like Chablis? Well, the short answer is ‘no.’ What I try to do each vintage, however, is get as close to some of the flavor and aromatic components of Chablis as I can, given the fruit I have to work with from the Star Vineyard, which has always been my sole source of Chardonnay, is situated in the Rutherford Bench and grows on very well-drained bale loam soil which has been infused with round stones from the ancient creek activity throughout. Is it like Chablis? Again, well ‘no.’ I have worked with this fruit now for 37 years. I know by now how best to recognize the blocks I like as well as the proper time to harvest. I try as best I can to make a wine that comes close to pleasing me as much as Chablis does. I think this vintage comes closer than ever before to achieving the style I am after.”
Vinous 94 Points: The Forman Chardonnay is compelling. In this vintage, the Chardonnay balances natural richness from aging on the lees with a touch of new oak (20%) with the energy that is the result of picking early and also blocking the malolactic fermentation. Lemon confit, marzipan, tangerine oil and white flowers all open up as this super-expressive Chardonnay shows off its character. Best of all, it can be enjoyed upon release. It is an incredibly delicious and rewarding wine to drink today.