Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2017 edition review of Top 40 Californian Wines Under £40 (see blue link below).
Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2016 - Sept 2017 Decanter review
The Morning Fog Chardonnay is named for the morning coastal fog pushed by Pacific wind streams into the bowl of the San Francisco Bay and lured inland by Livermore Valley’s unique EastWest orientation. This daily phenomenon moderates the climate to produce excellent, beautifully balanced Chardonnay.
Planted on various Wente clones, each vineyard block is farmed and harvested separately which maximizes quality and adds an elegant complexity to the wine. Nearly 80% of the Chardonnay vineyards in California are planted with the Wente clone. An almost microscopic proportion - less then 2% - of Gewurztraminer is also used.
This wine is fermented in 50% neutral American oak barrels and 50% in stainless steel tanks. The oak provides hints of vanilla and enhances the mouthfeel; the steel preserves the naturally vibrant fruit flavors inherent in this Chardonnay. The barrel fermented portion was aged sur lie (on its lees/fermenting yeast) for 5 months; batonnage, the art of stirring the barrels, was performed monthly. This adds a creamy note to the wine and greatly enhances the texture. From the remaining 50% stainless steel portion, half was aged on its lees for 5 months, while the other half was racked clean to preserve the fresh fruit character.
Bright, crisp flavors of pear, melon, citrus and green apple are balanced by subtle hints of toasty oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. With mouth-filling body, lingering minerality and balanced acidity, this wine delivers a long, refreshing finish.