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Copyright © 2016
by Fred McMillin
for December 5, 2000
Cod and Carneros
The codfish is a staple food
For which I'm seldom in the mood.
This fish is such an utter loss
That people eat it with egg sauce.
Our Carneros Chardonnay (Abbotts Vineyard) is rich and full-bodied. I would serve it with highly-flavored food.
...St. Clement Senior Winemaker David Schlottman
This single-vineyard St. Clement Carneros Chardonnay is crisper than some of its competitors. Experience says it is a good prospect for dinner tonight.
...Critic Bob Thompson, San Francisco Examiner
Cod and Carneros Chardonnay
We don't share Mr. Nash's opinion of cod, but we do agree with the Schlottman-Thompson belief that the Abbotts Vineyard Chardonnay is a fine food wine.
Frozen cod is available here, so we tried it with our...
Wine of the Day
1998 St. Clement Abbotts Vineyard Chardonnay
Appellation—Carneros, Napa Valley
About the Appellation—Gourmet magazine's Gerald Asher has an opinion: "Carneros grapes, especially those from the Napa side, now fetch the highest prices in California." For those unfamiliar with the Carneros appellation, it is a butterfly-shaped, 40,OOO-acre, gently-rolling area located in the southern end of both the Sonoma and Napa counties.
Abbotts Vineyard—Some 20 years ago St. Clement started buying Chardonnay from the Carneros pioneer Abbott Williams. The fruit was so good that in 1987 they bought it, the Abbotts Vineyard. In 1991, they isolated enough of the grapes to make 336 cases of Abbotts Chardonnay. BINGO! Ever since, they've produced 2,500 to 3,500 cases
annually. In 1998, late rains and a cool season held production down to 2,500 cases.
Food Affinities—About the cod, the Chardonnay maintained its intensity with the distinctive fish flavors. This St. Clement will complement any full-flavored fish or fowl dish.
Contact—Office of Jennifer Lamb, (707) 967-3033, FAX (707) 963-1412
On a summer day, if the temperature of the central Napa Valley is 85 degrees, the Carneros (means "sheep" in Spanish) temperature will be around 72 degrees. Compared to France, Carneros has less hours of sunshine than the heart of Burgundy, which has always produced the world's greatest Chardonnays.
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
This page created December 2000