Pulled this bottle out of the cellar last Friday night being able to “go out for dinner” once again. To experiment with different food and wine pairings is key to refine ones taste. Chose a 2018 Maritana Chardonnay Sonoma County Russian River La Riviere. While Donald Patz had many years ago produced Chardonnay’s, he has been known as an industry leader for his Pinot Noir’s. I knew from previous tastings this wine was going to be outstanding. LA RIVIÈRE means “the River” referring to Russian River AVA where the vineyards are located. This is a blend of a few sites to make an exquisite wine. Donald believes this will continue to evolve over the next 5-8 years if properly stored.
First on the eyes, the clarity and brightness was ethereal straw golden yellow. It was a refined and delicate Chardonnay with soft lemon custard and a Red Delicious apple, mildly sweet with a caramel finish. As the wine settles in the back of mouth, a minerality of a babbling brook or creek came to mind. This wine was of another spectrum of quality found only in wines in a much higher in price range ($100). This wine reminded me of the higher end Kistler Chardonnay or Peter Michael Chardonnay, specifically La Carriere. Current price is $55.
The Food and Wine pairing was with a Caesar salad and a smoked Chili bowl topped with diced purple onion and shredded cheddar cheese. The meat in the chili was a brisket which was absolutely delicious. Now with all those intense flavors, the Maritana rose to the occasion and stood tall to the spiciness of the meal. An unusual but wonderful combination of wine and food.
For a complete story on Donald Patz’s wines see: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2018/12/06/maritana-vineyards-four-aces-on-the-first-vintage/