Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1990. Maddalena
If you were to try and imagine the most irregular, most unnatural, most intriguing location for a winery, would you choose downtown Los Angeles? No, seriously, I mean downtown Los Angeles!
In 1917, when Santo Cambianica came from Padua Italy, winemaking in Los Angeles was truly in its infancy. He opened this winery and named it after the patron saint of Padua, San Antonio. Santo purchased his grapes from nearby San Gabriel, vinting and aging the wines right in downtown (you can see City Hall from their location). After the second world war, there were over 40 bonded wineries within the city limits of Los Angeles. Now, according to the Riboli family (great nephews and niece of Santo), San Antonio winery “…is the last producing winery in the City of the Angels”. So interesting is the winery and its location, it has become Cultural Historical Monument Number 42. If you are ever in or about downtown you must pay a visit to San Antonio; there is a wonderful restaurant there that serves over 17,000 customers a month, as well as a delightful wine and gift shop.
In 1970, the winery took a fresh look at the wine market and added to the current product line by developing the Maddalena Vineyards. This venture was to take San Antonio winery into the varietal wine market. Today, their winemaker, Jon Alexander (B.S. in Oenology, U.C. Davis and Masters in Microbiology) makes award winning wines for Maddalena Vineyards. Our selection this month is the 1990 Central Coast Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is the noble white grape of Burgundy, France. There it produces some of the best and most expensive white wines in the world. In California, it produces wines from light-hearted and fruity to big, rich oak-y wines. This selection is of grapes from Monterey County where they are machine picked and pressed. The unfermented juice is then transported in insulated stainless tankers to the winery in Los Angeles. The juice is then fermented in stainless steel tanks where 1/3 is drawn off and aged in French oak barrels.
This wine shows a brilliant golden yellow with citrus and green apples in the nose. The body is medium with all the fruit coming through, with a hint of vanilla from the oak. The finish is long and clean, with fruit flavors lingering.
Serve chilled with baked salmon or creme sauce chicken.
Cellaring Notes: Drinking well now, will complex for 2 years.
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