Santa Lucia Highlands, California
Areas of the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, California, are just right for growing finicky grapes such as pinot noir and chardonnay. Hahn Family Wines has been making wine in this area since the late 1970s, when Nicolaus "Nicky" Hahn converted land intended for cattle grazing into vineyards. At 1,200 feet above sea level, the vineyard for these chardonnay grapes enjoys warm days and cool evening breezes from Monterey Bay. In the winery, whole grape clusters were pressed and fermented in small oak barrels. The wine rested on its lees and was stirred weekly for 12 months before being racked and bottled. Oak was judiciously applied to the fruit-forward wine, and it exhibits aromas of melon, citrus, subtle spice notes and a trace of herbs. On the palate, taste pineapple, grapefruit and lemon with subtle green apples, lively acidity and a tactile sensation not of cream but curd. Drink it with scallops, broiled oysters, crab or shrimp bisque, eggs Sardou or Benedict and goat cheese. Buy it at: Martin Wine Cellar.