If you're a fan of Californian sparkling wines, you've probably enjoyed a glass or two of Chandon. With over 200,000 bottles produced a year, an affordable price tag, and a tasting room that sees 2,000 people on a Saturday, it's one of Napa Valley's most well-known bubbly producers. What you may not know, however, is that the winery also makes some well-rounded and interesting still wines. I recently had the chance to sample its offerings, so to learn more about Chandon's Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, keep reading.
- Chardonnay: This solid white sells out quickly thanks to its smooth, classic taste. It's acidic, yet silky; unlike some Napa Chards, it's not dominated by oak flavor, but wonderfully balanced with a finesse finish and apple aroma.
- Pinot Noir: Rich, luscious, drinkable, versatile — all these words can describe this textbook Pinot. Although it's traditional, it's not boring or flabby, but bright, berry-like, and round.
- Pinot Meunier: Meunier is a grape that's normally used to make sparkling wine and rarely is it offered as a stand-alone still wine. It's especially hard to find in the US. I had never tried it before and it was love at first sip! It's a mild red similar to a Beaujolais Cru with subtle hints of spice. It was served slightly chilled and would be exceptional paired with grilled food. This one is definitely worth looking for.
Have you tried Chandon? What's your favorite of its varietals?