Chardonnay, 2019. Root Cause

Chardonnay, 2019. Root Cause

Item #: C0920W1DC
Vintage: 2019
Varietal: Chardonnay
Vineyard/Appellation: California
Color: Limpid Gold
Nose: Tropical
Palate: Great Grip
Finish: Flecks of Flavor
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2022/Shellfish/13.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Root Cause farms approximately 960 acres adjoining the San Joaquin River in Madera County. It is owned by Jeff O'Neill, former CEO of Golden State Vintners. Although he is a graduate from the University of the Pacific School of Business, he is also a third generation member of a California winemaking family with roots dating back to 1934, ergo the name on the label.

LWinemaker, Mark Rasmussen, began his career in 1977 and eventually became head winemaker at Sebastiani in 1986. He earned an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a graduate degree in Food Science/Enology from Fresno State University. You might say that food and wine is in Mark's blood and you'd be right. He is fortunate to work with a company with incredible sources for grapes and is able to do whatever it takes to make great wine.

Although the label lists the appellation as California, we know that a lot of the fruit came from O'Neill's holdings in Monterey. This lush, cool-climate heaven is known as "where the mountains meet the sea,""literally. It's this combination of soil being fertilized by millions of years of natural nutrients and the subtle climate on the ocean that is as perfect as it can be for Chardonnay.

And perfect is what we have here. There is not one overpowering flavor, but a myriad of soft, enveloping swashes of green apple, Asian pear, pineapple and orange blossom blending in perfect harmony. It would honor a lobster tail or king crab legs in drawn butter. Doesn't get any better.