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Dec 01st
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Storrs Winery Chardonnay 2008

wine_vineyardOne of the most popular wines round these parts is Storrs Chardonnay. It’s probably one of the most-requested wines at any given restaurant. And the reason is simple – it’s an excellent wine. It turns out that many judges at this year’s California State Fair think so, too. They named the Storrs 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay as the Best Wine of the Region. As the top wine of the greater Bay Area, this wine also garnered a Best Chardonnay of Region distinction, and a gold medal. When you think of all the wines submitted in this competition, this is truly an impressive achievement.

We have four vineyards to thank for producing the voluptuous grapes that make up this Chardonnay, the Christie Vineyards in Pleasant Valley; the Coyote Vineyard in the hills of the Branciforte district; a vineyard in the Soquel hills; and the historic Annamaria’s Vineyard in the Jarvis district,  which provides the Burgundian-like palate in the wine. I do believe this vineyard was named after Annamaria Roudon, the late wife of Bob Roudon, founder of Roudon-Smith Winery along with June Smith and the late Jim Smith. I once went to a grape-picking party at Annamaria’s Vineyard and thought I was going to expire from working in the hot sun all day. The fun part came only at the end when all the workers shared a potluck meal and drank copious amounts of wine.

Of course, you can pick all the very best grapes, put them in the most up-to-date crusher and hope for the best that the wine will turn out all right, but without the expertise of a good winemaker, you’re not going to come up with anything much to write home about. This is where Stephen and Pamela Storrs come in, a man-and-wife team with years of experience under their belts. They create only limited releases from selected coastal vineyard, which yield wines of great elegance. Each vineyard brings in its own beautiful aromas and you will find these in this 2008 Chardonnay, from pineapple and pippin to heavier fruit notes of citrus, all playing a different role—the end result being an amazingly balanced and structured wine.

This wine is available at most good grocery stores ($23), at the Storrs tasting room in the Old Sash Mill, and at Vinocruz, which sells most of the wines made by wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

Celebration of Bordeaux at Storrs
On Saturday, July 31, the winery is hosting a celebration of Bordeaux varietals—past, present and future.  Taste your way through BXR’s, St. Clare’s, Mann reds, San Ysidro Merlots, from years past, from today, and with a special barrel tasting at the end. Throughout the day, Storrs will be barbecuing an array of Corralitos sausage, serving up fresh summer salads, and offering a selection of artisan cheeses and Gayle’s breads. Vin Express members $12 per person, which includes the tasting and light lunch; $20 to the general public. The festivities will start at 1pm and end at 4pm.  Reservations are appreciated, though not required.  R.S.V.P. by calling the winery at 458-5030.

Storrs Winery, Old Sash Mill, 303 Potrero St., Santa Cruz, 458-5030. Open daily from noon to 5 p.m.

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