Grape Expectations – January 2013

Grape Expectations

Robert Kleffel and Noemí Paz




Chardonnay is originally from France’s Burgundy region, where the best white Burgundies are powerful and rich, with complex fruit flavors and notes of earth and minerals. Chardonnays from America, Australia and Chile tend to be ripe and full-bodied, even buttery, with higher alcohol levels and vanilla notes from oak aging. Recently, however, more and more wine regions have been experimenting with fruity, fresh Chardonnays produced with very little or even no oak aging.

Chardonnay Characteristics: There are many descriptions for the aromas and flavors of Chardonnay. Common aromas range from butter and toast through to tropical notes of banana, pineapple and guava. It is also often described as having mineral properties, such as crushed seashells or metal. Its flavor profiles are equally diverse and include grilled nuts, creamy apples, peach, marzipan, mango and even wet stones. Chardonnays have an impressive range of flavors including butter, oak overtones and fresh, fruit flavors of apple, pear, tropical, citrus and melon, leaving a lasting taste on the palate.

In general, avoid tomato based dishes – the sharp acidity of the tomato doesn’t go well with the buttery flavors in a Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a light white wine, so things like steaks and game will overwhelm the flavor. The light, fruity flavors of Caribbean cooking go well with Chardonnay.


Pale gold bright aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, such as pineapple and melon, with hints of vanilla and butter on the palate, velvety. Seven months in French oak. Pairing –You can combine it with cheeses like Provolone, Gruyere, Mild Cheddar. For main dishes try smoked salmon, chicken with cream sauce, pork with cream sauce, shrimp with cream sauce, white fish with elaborate sauces. Desserts: mango, pineapple, honeydew. L ACetto is Mexico’s largest winery and produces 50% of Mexico’s wines.


Brilliant yellow with golden tones with intense banana, papaya, pineapple and mango aromas combined with elements such as toasted oak, vanilla and butterscotch. Concentrated, great volume, with mineral and tropical notes, this wine goes well with Hawaiian pizza or any dish or salad with fruit.


Santa Alicia’s flagship white, Reserva Chardonnay, comes from premium grape selection, hand-picked and fermented in French oak barrels before spending six months in barrel and a further six months in bottle. The result is a stunningly complex and immaculately poised wine for the price. On the nose, intense and complex, with a touch of tropical notes like papaya or mango, and hints of cloves, butterscotch and dry herbs. The wine is dense and minerally, with soft, ripe tropical fruit notes, delicate spice and a creamy aftertaste. Great accompaniment to many foods also, going particularly well with sea food, creamy sauces, pastas, white meats or cheese.


Casa Madero holds the claim of the oldest winery in both North and South America as they have produced wine since 1597. Most of their wine is sold to the “high end” trade in Europe. This Chardonnay is pale yellow with green hues, clean and bright, characteristic of its youth. The nose is intensely aromatic highlighting tropical fruit notes like pineapple, peach, guava, some mineral notes. This wine is fresh and very expressive confirming its fruitiness with a delicate finish, pleasant and persistent.

Noemi Paz

Robert Kleffel:


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