Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Notre Vue 2019 Chardonnay Musque, Russian River Valley

As a proponent of the ABC rule of “always bring Chardonnay” (not “anything but Chardonnay”), I love opening up a bottle to see what it will taste like. This week, I enjoyed the Notre Vue 2019 Chardonnay Musqué from the Russian River Valley and it is the Please the Palate Wine of the Week.

Chardonnay is a fascinating grape. While it has been much maligned, it is a neutral grape that really reflects where it is grown. The clone, a set of vines that has been reproduced from one mother vine of Chardonnay, is also important. There is an array of Chardonnay clones in the world. I typically do not focus on clonal selection as I think that it is more important for the winemaker than it is for the consumer. The Dijon clone and the Wente clone, two popular clones, will respond differently depending on where they are planted as clones can be temperature sensitive, making some more suitable for particular climates.

The Notre Vue Chardonnay is made from the Chardonnay Musqué clone, an aromatic mutation of Chardonnay. This clone is typically planted in the Finger Lakes in New York and the Niagara Peninsula in Canada but is also planted in the 710-acre sustainable vineyard of Notre Vue in Sonoma.

Chardonnay Musqué got its name because of its musky aromatics. As I put my nose in the glass to smell this wine, I had to remind myself it was Chardonnay. The wine has notes of lemon, pear, nectarine, green apple and white flowers. It was the aromas of white flowers and stone fruit had me thinking of other more aromatic grape varieties, such as Muscat. But the wine is dry with a rich, silky mid-palate as a result of spending time “sur lie” in neutral French oak barrels. The wine is medium bodied with medium acidity. While the nose has sweet aromatics, the wine is dry.

This is a wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes, from seafood to chicken to soft white cheese. But, it can also be enjoyed on its own, which is how I enjoyed it.

The Notre Vue 2019 Chardonnay Musqué, Russian River Valley is available for $36.