92 Points - Tasting Panel Magazine
An interesting aspect of the wine industry is that people in different parts of the industry always seem to be curious about what goes on in the other parts. Winemakers envy sommeliers and buyers who get to taste so many different wines from all over the world, and sommeliers wonder what it would be like to make their own wine. While crossovers are rare, they do happen, and one advantage that the sommelier/winemaker brings to the table is an in depth knowledge of what consumers are looking for, and what will work in a restaurant setting. Today’s Heist is just such a wine, coming from Amos Cellars, which is owned by Jon McDaniel, the Wine Director at the Los Olivos Café, which was featured in the movie Sideways. Founded in 2009, Jon's goal with Amos is to create wines that pair gracefully with food, and appeal to a broad range of palates. If this 2009 Chardonnay is any indication, Jon is well on his way to meeting both goals.
The 2009 Amos "Churner" Chardonnay is from a single vineyard in the Central Coast, is light straw in color. The nose shows aromas of apple, lemon, cherry blossom, orange peel, and just a hint of vanilla. The palate starts with a burst of Key lime, followed by tropical fruit and melon flavors, anise, Granny Smith apple, and slate. Bright fruit and refreshing acidity carry through on the finish, with the wine gaining weight and complexity in the mouth, yielding a wonderfully rich, lasting impression. This will appeal equally well to those who like rich California Chardonnay in the Napa tradition, and those who prefer the more balanced approach that is often compared to White Burgundy. Don’t miss out on this first release from an exciting new producer!
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appelation: Central Coast
Wine Making: 100% Barrel Fermented, 25% New French Oak, Whole cluster pressed. Fermented with native yeast during primary and secondary fermentation
Aged: Sur Lees for 10 months until blending. Barrel aged for 30 months in neutral French Oak
TA: 7.5 g/L,
Production: 75 cases
Jon McDaniel is currently the Wine Director and Sommelier at the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café in Los Olivos, CA. The restaurant has gained international fame as the restaurant featured in Sideways during the double-date scene, the drink and dial scene and the famous “No F-in Merlot” scene. In reality, the wine program there has grown by leaps and bounds since he arrived in 2010. Their list has doubled to feature over 700 wines, about 80% of which are from the Central Coast. The restaurant was also just named one of the Top 50 Wine Lists in America by Open Table, chosen by votes of over 12 million diners. Jon has received Advanced Certification from several international wine and sommelier organizations and have been retailer, sommelier, distributor and importer for nearly 10 years.
Learn more at www.amoscellars.com.