In a nutshell: Classy and restrained Californian Chardonnay
The lowdown: For their Heritage Reserve collection De Loach choose fruit from cool, fog-influenced vineyards sustainably farmed along the California Coast. Most of the blend is fermented in stainless steel to highlight the fruit character to which is added a small amount of barrel fermented wine to add an extra complexity and richness. Their Heritage Reserve Chardonnay offers aromas of pear, melon and pineapple and is bright and refreshing with good, but not overpowering, weight. Apple and mixed spice mingle in to add interest, and the finish has clean acidity to balance the full body.
When to drink: With an ample but not overbearing body this is great with meaty fish like halibut, or simply prepared poultry.
Established in 1973 by Cecil De Loach, a firefighter from San Francisco and, at the time they were one of the first wineries in the Russian River Valley area of Sonoma County.
De Loach was purchased by Burgundian Jean-Claude Boisset in 2003. His son Jean-Charles Boisset saw the similarities of the Russian River Valley with his native Burgundy and the potential that the region held for producing fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Winemaker Brian Maloney works alongside consultant winemaker Greg La Follette (formerly at Flowers on the Sonoma coast), whose appointment marked the start of a return to De Loach's previously excellent form and emphasis on high quality, small lot winemaking.