Irish Monkey Cellars
2008 Chardonnay - Davis
$18 / 750 ml. (Davis is in Contra Costa county)

Chardonnay is elegant where Sauvignon Blanc is sharp and dry. The noble chardonnay grape produces well in the cooler regions of El Dorado, maintaining good fruit and equally supportive pre-fermentation sugar.

Our Chardonnay was vinted to accentuate the subtle fruit and flinty notes that the dry-farmed El Dorado vineyard is capable of producing. The flavor of oak was carefully kept to a minimum, leaving a mellow, easy-to-drink wine that compliments a variety of ligher foods without overpowering them.

We recommend the El Dorado 2007 Chardonnay to accompany semi-soft French and Italian cheeses, Grecian green olives and virtually any dish that uses Basmati or Jasmine rice as a base. Are you thinking "chicken?" if so, then dishes that compliment with tartness are quite nice: Piccatte style, or Green olive flavored. Chicken prepared with tomatillos in a south-of-the-border Chile Verde sauce also pairs well.

 

Serving
Temperature Cool, not cold Brings out the warm toasty notes while keeping Chardonnay's musky notes in balance. The emphasis is on the fruit, not the barrel ... so somewhat cooler serving temperature are quite acceptable.
Glass Moderate bowl, long stem The Chardonnay aromas develop in the glass over the course of its coming to room temperature. Use thin-walled glass however, so as to not over-warm the wine too quickly.
Transition to

Roussanne
Marsanne
Grenache
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Merlot

The round full-mouth tones of Chardonnay play well into wines of light substance and yet good fruity aroma. Each of the varietals on the left compliments Chardonnay in this way.

Note that the fruity-yet-lighter wines have fallen off the list, Riesling, P.Grigio, Gewurtztraminer, Sauv. Blanc. Also we intentionally kept away from the heavier reds, as there should be a "red buffer" between them and the Chardonnay