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Pick of the Week: Mazza Chautauqua Cellars Chardonnay 2008

March 2012
Originally published in the Finger Lakes Times as part of my internship with the NY Wine and Culinary Center

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Why it’s worth trying: The 2008 Chardonnay from Mazza Chautauqua Cellars is a dry, medium-bodied wine that is sure to enrapture you with your first sip. Due to the partial oak aging as well as partial malolactic fermentation — which contributes to the rounder mouth feel — this wine is a delightful balance of both complexity and brightness.

This wine displays prominent citrus aromas with a hint of spiced vanilla. On the palate, there are flavors of pecan, as well as a surprising brightness of pear with a soft, buttery finish. With the balance of flavors and silky texture, there is something for everyone with this wine.

The sister winery to Mazza Vineyards, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars was opened in 2005 along Lake Chautauqua in Mayville, Chautauqua County. The Mediterranean-style building carefully combines Old World allure with the latest technology, and utilizes various energy-efficient features including geothermal heating and cooling and recycled building materials. The Mazza family has been making wine in the region for more than 40 years, making it a popular destination for knowledgeable wine lovers.

Price: $13.99

Serving tips: Serve chilled (between 50 and 60 degrees) in order to fully appreciate the range of flavors this wine has to offer.

Food pairing: Due to the complexity and depth of flavor, this versatile wine pairs nicely with a number of dishes. It works well with full-flavored dishes including grilled shrimp, chicken and other white meats, and pasta with cream or butter sauces.

You might also want to try: Similar wines include a 2008 Chardonnay from Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars or a 2010 Leonard Oakes Chardonnay.

Where to buy it: Mazza Chautauqua Cellars in Mayville (Lake Erie Wine Country) or the New York Wine and Culinary Center tasting room.