Chardonnay, 2012. Musque Clone 809

Chardonnay, 2012. Musque Clone 809

Item #: V0814W1DC
Vintage: 2012
Varietal: Chardonnay
Vineyard/Appellation: California
Color: Pale Gold
Nose: Fresh apple, gardenia and jasmine
Palate: Rich orange zest with lime and honey
Finish: Apple, clove and vanilla
Rating: 94
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Drink now through 2016/Alcohol - 13.5%

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John Giguiere, along with his wife Lane and brother Karl, started R.H. Phillips Winery in 1983 on land that was part of their family farm in the Dunnigan Hills of Northwestern Yolo County. Starting as a small family owned vineyard and winery operation, the company grew into a 750,000 case producer sourced from mostly estate fruit from their 2,500 acre vineyard.

The company produced such noted brands as Toasted Head, EXP and R.H. Phillips. John helped to take the company public in 1995 and oversaw the sale of the company to Vincor International in 2000. He remained with the company after the sale and became the President and CEO for Vincor's U.S. operations. John left the company in August of 2005 to start Crew Wine Company.

Winemaker, Dan Cederquist is a U.C. Davis graduate majoring in Viticulture. Dan started his career at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in 1987. In 1993, he left Napa to become a winemaker at De Loach Vineyards where he specialized in crafting their handsomely popular Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels. He also was instrumental in growing the business from 100,000 cases to 290,000 cases and developing two new production facilities. Dan lives in Calistoga with wife Anne and son Alex. His hobbies are throwing pots in his studio, gardening, golf, backpacking and fishing.

Prepare to be amazed. Musque clone 809 is unlike any Chardonnay you have tasted. It combines the fragrant aromas and flavors of Muscat with the creamy texture of Chardonnay. This distinct clone is named for the French term meaning both perfumed ('musky') and Muscat-like, and indicates that the variety is highly aromatic.

There are Musque clones of other varietals, notably Sauvignon Blanc, which offer similar spicy, musky scents and flavors, so it is definitely in a class by itself.

The Chardonnay Musque 809 clone grown in the Giguiere Family's JK Vineyard certainly lives up to its name. Heady aromas of gardenia, jasmine and honeysuckle waft from the glass. Vibrant flavors of orange zest and lime peel mingle with wildflower honey and caramelized sugar. The tiny bit of spritz on the finish is delightful. Pair this crowd-pleasing wine with spicy Thai food or creamy goat cheese on crostini.

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