This translation presents not just an apexing display of fruit and acid synergy, not to mention textural prowess, but a view; a view of the vineyard from where it generates; high altitude voice, Sonoma County elevation and anointment; saga, the small producer, autonomous and palpably dexterous winemaker Blair Guthrie sharing his love for the often misunderstood Burgundy white; melody and euphony of everything a California Chard should be while still offering adulation to Burgundian intent– Quite plainly, this Chardonnay translation, and the conveyance of its AVA, are unspeakably awe-inspiring. Once more, Chardonnay and I haven’t had the best relationship to note. It’s been confrontational, judgmental, pugilistic, and just unbearable. But this Chardonnay tier makes me look at myself and how I’ve treated the varietal rather than be more bold and bullying. I’m humbled, I’m taught, and like Virginia Woolf ordered, “Language is wine upon the lips.” This wine, with its own language, patting and provoking my layers of thinking and my narrative, making me think why I ever fouled Chardonnay in the place first– then my narrative goes dark, dumb, distant. Next glass touch, the first impressional plume speaks more caramel-curved apple and crème brûlée surface; smoke-sewn and slightly charred; just a relief, candidly. Me mute, just learning, a student, learning new language and new wine and new views…
Language and wine have always taunted me and made me sit at this desk and write, and wines like this won’t let me leave. I’m learning a new language– I’m here, sipping, and envisioning. What, I don’t know. Whatever the wine from that mountain tells me–no, orders me–directs me giving me new direction and a new Road; a new Beat–
Woolf also said that “A good essay must have this permanent quality about it…” This Chardonnay, then, from Mr. Guthrie, is a series and tsunami of expository deluge. And I just sit here at the desk; sip, learn, write what I can, as I can. And there’s civility, no more scribbled or typed pugilism.