2005 Faux Chablis (Student Vineyard)
For those who have followed the Napa Valley College Student Vineyard Faux Chablis series since 2001, this wine will make perfect sense.
The first thing you will notice is its color, which is very dark amber with a touch of peach, much like the fire wines Georgian Rkatsitelli sometimes produces. One can be forgiven for imagining this as oxidation, but it is not. It is simply incredible density. You will get this color if you take any Chardonnay and concentrate it with an ultrafilter. I have also often seen this property in the best wines of Corton, the Santa Cruz Mountains and South Shore Lake Erie.
As proof, simply observe the bright, fresh lemon aroma without any trace of nuttiness or aldehyde. As in previous vintages, there are also hints of yeastiness due to nine months of lees stirring, similar to Champagne.
The mouth is round and rich, with no dryness or tannin, but full of racy minerality which leaves the finish vibrant and chalky. Though most suitable with seafood or sushi in its youth, the wine has matured into a remarkably versatile accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. I personally like it with hearty peasant cuisine such as pot roasts, ragouts, sautéed chard, ratatouille, stuffed cabbage, or rabbit stew. Feel free to experiment. You can confidently serve the 2005 as a cooperative dinner companion that can be relied upon to keep up its end of table conversation.