Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1989. White Oak

White Oak winery is no new­comer to the Wine of the Month Club. In fact, White Oak is the first winery to have been selected for both the Limited Series and the Regular Series with two wines from the same grape. Our ship­ment #2 in 1990 featured the Myers Limited Reserve Chardonnay that promptly sold out. This month’s domestic selection is his “regular” Chardonnay. Wait until you taste it, it is not regular at all!

It is an old story, one that you hear every day…Bill Meyers is a professional fisherman transplant­ed from Anchorage, Alaska, from whence he up and left to build (that is right, he is also a licensed con­tractor) the White Oak winery. Meyers explains, “I felt there was an opportunity in the wine busi­ness to be creative…I recognized a diversity of growing regions and a distinctiveness in the varietal character of the fruit from this area (northern Sonoma County)”. Nat­urally, he moved his family to Healdsburg and the rest is, or shall we say, will be history! Part of his success formula is wine maker Paul Brasset. Paul has over 15 years of winemaking experience from some of California’s most re­spected wineries; Clos du Bois, Louis Martini, and Charles Krug. His extensive knowledge of the Sonoma County makes a nice compliment to Bill’s objective of creativity.

Bill and Paul employ the most modern techniques of wine making to produce this gem. In fact, last time I visited, he produced an in­frared aerial photograph of his fa­vorite vineyard. This photograph identified strong and weak vines throughout the vineyard helping to identify watering and fertilization problems.

Chardonnay is the noble white grape of Burgundy, France. Though I have only known it to make dry white wine, some vint­ners (Kendall Jackson) will leave slight amounts of sugar to lighten the flavor (this is coined “Califonnia Style”). Some of the better French Burgundies can last up­wards to 10 years but generally Chardonnay with enough acid will last 3-6 years.

Our selection this month shows a golden yellow. Bright and clear. The nose is explosive with green apples and hints of pineapple and vanilla. The flavors follow the nose very nicely; green apples, pineapple and vanilla. The is full-bodied with a nice dry finish.

Serve chilled with poached salmon or light chicken dishes.

Cellaring Notes: Delicious now through mid 1992.

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