L.01 "Skin Contact" Chardonnay 2021 Vintage 750mL

$23 $28
Club Member Price $18.20

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Flavor & Winemaking: Not your typical Chardonnay. You will experience flavors of orchard fruits and citrus zest from the Chardonnay, tropical fruit & white floral notes from the 15% skin-contact Viognier blended in, and a hint of vanilla-cream-caramel-smoke from oak, acacia & apple wood aging in stainless steel tanks & neutral oak. 7 day skin-contact fermentation of the Viognier grapes contributes a hint of golden color, as well as complexity on the finish.

  • Sensory Notes

    This wine has apple, peach, pear, & pineapple tropical fruit flavors up front, debatably dried fruit or nectar rather than fresh fruit, with a supporting dried floral note. Weaving through this fruit dominance is a wisp of vanilla-caramel-smoke from aging on French oak & whiskey charred American Oak. The apple flavors are enhanced by aging on apple wood & floral notes from again on acacia. The palate is soft & smooth, with just a hint of citrus to enliven the finish. Some folks mention that this wine reminds them of a fruity beer, such as a tropical IPA, but without the bubbles. The wheaty & malty aspects of skin-fermenting and the caramel notes of barrel aging can also give the impression of amber ale. Others say it seems more like a hard apple cider for its color and apple notes, and still others a sherry or whiskey for its barrel-aged notes. In any case, this is an aromatic and flavorful wine with a full flavor, not your normal light white wine. 

  • Winemaker Notes

    50% skin contact fermentation for 2 weeks to extract intense aromatics & full body from the skins, which also contributes the orange color (since the skin of white grapes is golden, white grapes fermented on the skins have a golden or orange color).  After pressing off the wine from skins, the wine is then aged 3-15 months on about 40% new French oak for a vanilla/coconut/caramel backbone, as well as apple wood (to enhance apple notes), peach wood (to enhance peach and tropical notes) & acacia wood (to add a floral note).  Natural malolactic fermentation (slight lemon-butter sauce note) and aging on the yeast lees (creamy, cheesy, nutritional yeast, umami) create a pastry-like complexity and smoothness to the finish. The wine was then finished with brief aging on whiskey charred oak to add a very subtle smoky, whiskey-like high note. 

    A note on the skin contact, orange wine, golden wine technique: This is basically red winemaking technique but used on white wines. You ferment the entire grape together, skins & juice together. This is used with red wines because the juice of the grape is clear, and red wine color and weight and spicy flavors come from the skins, so to make a red wine you need to have skin contact. Similarly, if you ferment a white grape’s juice with the skins, you extract the skin’s color (golden in this case) and weight and spicy flavors from the golden skins of the “white” grape. In most modern winemaking, on the other hand, just the white juice is fermented, to create a light, simple white/clear wine. But this is just the modern thing; historically, for most of human history, skin contact / golden / orange winemaking was the norm. This style has experienced a revival recently since this historical fact was discovered by an alcohol archeologist, Patrick McGovern (interestingly, his work is also the basis of many of Dogfish Head Brewery’s experimental beers). 

  • Food Pairing

    A fruit & cheese platter: Pineapple, peaches, apples, apricots, swiss cheese, muenster, bree, goat cheese, asiago (creamier cheeses, but some with a bit of funk along with the creaminess t0 match the wine), cashews & chestnuts, candied ginger. White sauce pasta such as pasta carbonara. Fish (salmon) in garlic-butter with lemon squeezed on top. Seafood alfredo. Roasted cauliflower with cheese melted on top. Fresh oysters w/ meyer lemon juice. Potato Salad: grilled yukon potatoes w/ creamy sauce (sour cream, mayo, lemon zest), and fresh parsley. Browned chicken simmered in a stock pot with apples, chicken stock, apple cider & bacon bits.  White sauce chicken pizza. Caramelized onion, apple and brie pizza

    Beer cocktail: 3:1 ratio of sour beer to this wine

  • Music, Life & Literary Pairings


    Life Pairings: A tropical vacation. During COVID since we can’t travel: watching Tropic Thunder (Swiss Family Robinson for older crowds) on Netflix, in bed, in your pajamas, while drinking an entire bottle of this wine straight from the bottle. 

    Self care: run a bath, get a mani-pedi, get a massage, crack open a bottle of L.01 and take care of yourself. 

    Literary Pairings“One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.” ― Charles Baudelaire

    Thoughtful: “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


    Sensual: “A little dogwood tree is losing its mind; overflowing with blossomfoam, like a sudsy mug of beer, like a bride ripping off her clothes, dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds, so nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene. It’s been doing that all week: making beauty, and throwing it away, and making more.” -Tony Hoagland, Donkey Gospel

    “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”― Bruce Lee

    “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”― Marilyn Monroe

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