In honor of Valentine's Day this week we are choosing a husband and wife team! Jeff and Nikki Nelson created their Chardonnay-only project in hopes of drinking more wine from their home state of California. These Francophiles currently produce two wines: Golden Slope (referring to the Cote D'or in Burgundy) and my choice for this pairing: White Hill (referring to the mineral rich chalk and limestone earth in Chablis).
White Hill is indeed mineral rich and driven by the ripeness that the Santa Rita Hills offers, yet still completely balanced. The grapes are sourced from a few of the best Chardonnay vineyards in Santa Barbara County: Zotovich, Kessler-Haak, and Rita's Crown. The wine is wonderful -- drinking well now and will age over the next 5-8 years into a beautiful austere wine preserved by its high acid and moderate alcohol that will still be fruit driven.
I suggest pairing it with a nice chunk of Comté.
Comté is France's answer to Gruyère. It is alpine cows milk hailing from the Franche-Comté. Great by itself as a snack, melted on a Croque Monsiuer or with a glass of Liquid Farm. If you don't believe us, ask the Nelsons' pet African Grey Parrot Rio...it's his favorite cheese. Seriously!
Something sweet... Keep it local and try SQIRL Moro Blood Orange and Tonga Vanilla Bean compote. Jessica Koslow makes these fantastic jams, jellies, and other jarred delicacies at her kitchen in Los Angeles. All products are sourced within a 200 mile radius of her kitchen.
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