We feature another superb selection from Gravelly Ford and celebrate the 36th vintage of winemaker Kent Rasmussen. There are very few winemakers in California who can show that kind of longevity and especially the tremendous wines he has crafted. Even given the fact that Gravelly Ford is a label produced by the powerhouse wine company, O'Neill Vintners, and has vineyards all over the state, Rasmussen seems to reach the pinnacle every vintage.
We love Kent's philosophy. Once the grapes are harvested, the wine has already been decided upon. It's up to the winemaker to now screw it up. The quality of the grapes is obviously of paramount importance. But, that quality doesn't guarantee it will be transferred to the wine. That job is up to the winemaker and in 36 years, Kent hasn't failed. Chardonnay was once the darling of the white wine crowd. That star has diminished somewhat because too many winemakers didn't subscribe to Kent's philosophy. They felt they could improve on that quality by adding more oak, or sugar, or blending in another wine for "complexity."
All that did was confuse the consumer. They never knew what they were getting so they went on. Consistency is Kent's greatest value. You always know what you're going to get in the bottle and it never disappoints. In this case it's the fresh peach and Bosc pear components we love in Chardonnay. It finishes with a lemon zest and just a kiss of oak to blend all the flavors. The pasta recipe for this month would be a perfect match.