2021 Balverne Chardonnay – Forever Wild
(Photo Balverne website)
Bob and Renee Stein purchased the 710-acre Russian River Valley estate that included a working vineyard in 1992. The Steins vision was to create a sustainable property and they called it Notre Vue Estate. They developed the property keeping 350 acres in a protected Forever Wild open space. This acreage weaved with the vineyards combines rugged wildland and wildlife with the manicured vineyards.
This accomplished their ideal view and called it Notre Vue (our view).
(Photo Belverne website)
The resulting effort is 250 acres of rolling vineyards and the “Forever Wild” protected space. This includes 17 miles of hiking and biking trails with picnicking areas throughout. Horseback riding trails also exist. Their label shows a red shoulder Hawk which roam the area. Thus their motto is the reason we consider Forever Wild to be the heart of the Notre Vue Estate.
Their goal with their winemaker, is focused on making wine in a European style with finesse and low intervention. Their current offerings with the Balverne label include Zinfandel, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, a few different Chardonnay’s, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Under their Notre Vue label, the have various Rose’s, Chardonnay’s, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a few red blends.
The Wine – 2021 Balverne Chardonnay
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
The wine is a lighter straw golden color and medium viscosity on the eyes. On the nose green apple notes flood the senses. On the palate, a soft lemon custard and a tinge of butterscotch interact and frolic with each other. On the crisp finish the lemon and apple linger providing a refreshing Chardonnay. The wine is 100% Russian River Valley and aged 5 months in 100% French oak, with 20% new barrels. Their current release 2019 is listed at $35/bottle. For the new 2021 only 252 cases were produced.
The Food and Wine Pairing
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
Paired this evening with a stir fried chicken and Bok Choy dish. Ingredients included cornstarch, canola oil, sesame oil, uncooked onions, ginger root, minced garlic, low sodium soy sauce and uncooked Bok Choy. Garnished with sesame seeds. Accompanied by brown rice and a fresh garden salad with Japanese Miso dressing. A delightfully light meal and the wine complemented and surrounded the stir fried chicken spices very comfortably.