2019 Ledson Winery “Russian River Valley, Dutton Ranch” Chardonnay

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The Winery

(Picture from Ledson Winery)

The story begins in England in 1896 and is detailed out on the website https://ledson.com/discover-ledson/history/ . It is a tale of hard work, family ties and a desire to do more for the community. Steve Ledson’s history is both unique and common—unique with background and successful venture and common with family ties. His demeanor and casual manner bespeaks volumes.

The Castle is the official tasting room of Ledson Winery and the architecture and construction alone are worth the visit! Ledson Winery offers the largest premium wine portfolio of any family owned winery in the United States. Today their offering numbers more than 70 wines annually! More information on Ledson Winery can be found at:


The Wine

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Firstly, the Gnomes did not consume any of the wine, although with St Patrick’s Day coming up, I think they were hoping to! Picked up this wine back in November with a great visit to Ledson Winery with friends and hosted by the knowledgeable and energetic Jerry Padilla.  First on the eyes, a bright light straw coloring and medium viscosity. On the nose the wine came alive with aromas of honeysuckle and poached pear. On the palate, honeydew melon, almond and apple swirled about and delivered a spectacularly refreshing and full filling Chardonnay.  On the finish, a light buttery flavor and minerality lingered with the rich creaminess of the wine.

Only 365 cases were produced of this Chardonnay and was kept in both stainless steel drums and 75% French neutral oak and 25% new French oak for 10 months. The price is $58/bottle. This wine was rated 94 points and received a Platinum Medal at the 2021 Winemaker Challenge in San Diego. This also just made my Best Wines Tasted in 2023 and will be noted in the Annual Report that comes out each December.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Pulled this wine out of the cellar specifically for our meal this evening of baked Cheesy Hasselback Chicken (Tasty recipe, modified). The ingredients included: mushrooms, sea salt, black pepper, fresh thyme leaf, mushrooms, baby spinach, paprika and shredded cedar cheese. With vertical cuts in the chicken breasts and spinach along with mushrooms were inserted into each cut, the flavors of the chicken were wonderful with each bite. Accompanied by whole wheat spaghetti noodles tossed with additional sautéed mushrooms and spinach.  Also a fresh garden salad with halved tomatoes, cut green onions, iceberg lettuce and Pepita seeds with a Champagne dressing. The creaminess of the wine and the cheddar cheese topping provided a velvety and delicious pairing.

As we sipped the wine, we both commented that some real crumbled bacon in the chicken would catapult this meal to even a higher enjoyment. My wife noted that on the recipe for next time!!






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