Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Freemark Abbey 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay

Founded in 1886, Freemark Abbey is an original winery in Napa Valley. Producers of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 1970 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché was one of the earliest vineyard-designated wines in California. In 1976, Freemark Abbey was one of twelve U.S. wineries chosen to compete in “The Judgment of Paris” blind tasting. They were the only winery with a red wine and a white wine represented in the tasting that catapulted Napa Valley, and California wines, onto the world stage.

Predominantly a Cabernet Sauvignon producer, Freemark Abbey also produces Chardonnay, as well as Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Freemark Abbey offers a few lines, including Napa Valley, Single Vineyard and Rutherford. Napa Valley are their wines that are available in retail stores, whereas the other two are available at the winery.

Winemaker Kristy Melton recently released the newest wine in the Napa Valley line, the 2018 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley, the Please The Palate wine of the week.

The fruit is sourced from the cool climate Los Carneros and 40 percent of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation. 92 percent of the wine is barrel fermented, 40 percent of which is neutral oak, and the remainder is stainless steel fermented. The wine is a clear straw yellow color with green flecks. On the nose, the wine has notes of lemon, apple, baking spice and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is fresh with a beautiful texture. The wine is medium bodied with a long finish that lingers on the mid-palate while bright acidity dances on the tongue.

Retailing around $35, this is a lovely white wine to enjoy with grilled chicken or fish.