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Cycles Gladiator Central Coast Chardonnay 2005

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    When I visit Europe’s Old World wine country, I (Adam) notice that the region’s entire cuisine is matched to the local grape variety. I suppose this makes sense when the area’s food and wine have been locked in wedded bliss for 900 years. As you stand on the mountainside looking out over our winery and vineyards here on the north Central Coast, one may feel blessed. Although our 30 years here pales in comparison, we have our own regional pairing that seems designed. The cool climate region in which we grow our grapes is perfectly suited for brilliantly fruit forward Chardonnay, and is also known for its rich array of abundant and diverse seafood. The local chefs have worked wonders in matching the two. It is, of course, their job to bring out the best flavors in the food that they prepare, but it is our duty to unlock and preserve the best flavors that our fruit can deliver. This is done through patience and passion. It is important to respect the grape and apply everything we know about winemaking to achieve this goal. We only harvest our Chardonnay at night, starting 11:00 pm and go until 5:00 am. The biting chill of the night changes the chemistry of the grape skin, making it firmer. This allows us to press the juice from the berries without imparting any of the bitter components that may result from warm skins which are soft and fragile. The juice is settled, and then racked into new and neutral French oak for fermentation. We control the temperature of our fermentations, keeping them cool so as to extend the time it takes to go dry – approximately 45 days. The resulting wines have brighter aromas and richer fruit flavors, something we strive for in all of our wines. After extended aging on the lees, the wines are racked, blended, and bottled.
    This wine leads off with those lovely cool climate aromatics of peach and pineapple, and a very subtle spice from the oak. Rich and ripe are the first words we think of when tasting this wine. The tongue is wrapped in a fresh compote of white stone and tropical fruit flavors. Bright acidity provides a lift for the fruit, suspending the sensation well into the finish. I would think seafood when pairing this wine. Go with blackened cod over polenta or grilled swordfish steaks and a cucumber salad. For poultry, try a barbequed chicken smothered in an apple jelly/honey/Dijon mustard glaze.

    Posted by thewinery on December 1st, 2007 at 3:39pm | report comment

    Posted by dustinjacobsen on September 8th, 2008 at 8:27am | report comment

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