Fresh, with floral components to the vibrant flavors of fresh-cut apple, white cherry and ripe pear. The focused finish offers plenty of butter accents and spicy richness. (KM)
A bit of vanilla, a touch of caramel and a suggestion of sweet lemons attend a full measure of ripe apples in the moderately intense, solidly varietal nose of this one, and, while each of these elements come through clearly again in its flavors, the wine proves to be a bit richer, riper and fuller than expected in the mouth with enough fruity extract to buffer the slight coarseness and heat that come up at the finish. That said, we would advise that it be poured in tandem with rich, fairly flavorful foods and, if patience permits, another year or two in the bottle should be of further benefit.
Kent Humphrey, together with his wife Colleen Teitgen, created the Eric Kent winery as a celebration of art and craft. Colleen’s background is in art, and they proudly partner with local Sonoma artists to feature their work in a sort of wine label gallery. For Kent’s part, after pursuing a career in academia followed by a stint in advertising, he found a home in the wine cellar, and began working with vineyards he loves throughout Sonoma County to produce incredibly balanced, expressive wines. This Chardonnay is all Stiling Vineyard fruit, owned and farmed by the famed Dehlinger family. Kent goes for a middle-of-the-road style, using some new French oak and some large-format, older barrels with frequent lees stirring to create a great mid-palate texture. The wine is at once bright and rich. It has beautiful clean aromas of yellow pear and Honeycrisp apple, and a palate that has beautiful creamy depth and a mélange of orchard fruits and lemon curd. The finish is surprisingly crisp and dry, making for a beautifully balanced whole.
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