Varner Foxglove Chardonnay
Probably the best value Californian Chardonnay out there, definitely the best one we’ve tasted. This is the second wine of famed ‘Cali’ producers Varner, who make their wines in a traditional Burgundian style. Fully aged in stainless steel to preserve the fruit flavour. This keeps the zesty lemon and tropical pineapple flavours at the forefront of the palate and the finish is crisp and clean. They use a process called battonage to add some weight and richness with some tasty hints of brioche!
Food Pairing – fish cakes and fish pie are stunning matches, also try simple salmon dishes or creamy pasta too.
What is Battonage?
Battonage is a traditional French winemaking technique that involves stirring the Lees (dead yeast cells) in the wine after fermentation. During the winemaking process the yeast works to ferment the wine but after that it dies and remains as a solid in the wine. More often than not this is then filtered out of the wine before bottling but occasionally it is left in for a cloudy cloudy wine. Some young funky winemakers are doing this but it’s not very common. Stirring the Lees adds aroma and texture to the finished wine, think of it like putting sugar in your coffee it’s a good idea to give it a stir otherwise it settles at the bottom. Stirring the Lees makes the wine taste more uniform in flavour but too much stirring makes the wine taste less fresh so it’s a balancing act between adding flavour and retaining acidity.