Stuhlmuller Vineyards – 2014 Estate Chardonnay – Alexander Valley
A jazzy Chardonnay algorithm from a producer a bit hidden but once found you have that oeno-phantasmic revelation. You sip and see something different in the Chardonnay character and story. From the first sensory stroke, the fruit is clean, coherent and convincing; apple and pear, light paradiddles of apricot, nectarine. And with the acidic current, every flavor phrase and conversation is augmented. So narrative and wild, a Chardonnay that speak, truly speak, and isn’t concerned with what you experience has been. And in such urgency you find universality, a branch to the butter crowd as well as the stainless.
Just as artful as the label, equally the naturalist splendor and visual ardor of the ground. Comforting and arcadian with everything greeting you. I’ve found that Chardonnay, as you may or may not know from my past columns, has a troubled relationship with me, for which I take full responsibility. But there wasn’t that invitation, there was only and esoteric appeal of the wine’s immediate and inferred body. As the bottle acclimated to ambient temp in the kitchen of my Autumn Walk Studio, the fruit exercised volition to morph its mold to something more pair-centered. Everything else was still there, just a new steering voice delivered the bottled thesis. I was ever more taken with what I was sipping. I sat and thought and knew I had to visit, and maybe I will next week, my next day off— This wine is a separation from reality, from the mundane and the patterned template of any varietal, but especially Chardonnay. There speaks its instruction, its truest boon; the truth itself, Chardonnay’s truth and identity, and you’ll be coerced that there is amicable Chardonnay. Not many this well-crafted, you should note. And I review my notes form last night, right before putting the bottle back its frigid domicile: ‘beatific, centered, peripatetic (with how it travels about your receptors), devoted…” A bottle with life. That reminds me to live, find my road, my own translations, and be vocal, narrative, tell my story. My stories with wine this vastly prodigious.