The Parducci Small Lot Mendocino County Chardonnay 2015 is sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Mendocino County AVA which is located in the North Coast AVA of California. Mendocino County is north of Sonoma and west and north of Napa. Parducci was founded 85 years ago and is the oldest family owned and operated winery in Mendocino County, the Thornhill family is the current owners. 20% of this Chardonnay was aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining 80% is aged in stainless steel tanks. The stainless steel allows the bright, crisp nature of the fruit to shine thru and the oak barrels add complexity, along with vanilla, spice and cream flavors. Every winery makes Chardonnay a little bit different from the next winery, it is almost as if no two Chardonnays are exactly the same. The general recipe for producing Chardonnay doesn’t really change a great deal from winemaker to winemaker, but use these grapes not those grapes and do this production technique to half the juice and skip that technique, makes a world of difference. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is a pale golden-yellow. The nose is green apple, lime, a touch of honey, melon, and grapefruit. This Chardonnay has a delicate display of oak barrel flavors that are well complimented by fruit and citrus. It starts with a mix of peach and pear, lemon and orange zest, soft, creamy butterscotch with vanilla. The mid-palate adds tart grapefruit and melon. The acidity is balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is creamy and slowly fades away.
The Parducci Small Lot Mendocino County Chardonnay 2015 really has terrific French oak influence, there is almost a little butterscotch sundae thing going on (not sweet like an ice cream sundae and on the subdued side, but it’s there). Like I said every Chardonnay is different and I don’t recall getting that in a Chardonnay before. For pairings, I would do pasta in white sauce or even fried chicken, though not spicy. It has enough acidity and body to handle spicy food, but then you would lose the cool delicate flavors in the wine. And of course, it drinks very well on its own.