Adler Fels Chardonnay & Pinot Noir: Making a Case for Blending Between Wine Regions


These wines were received as tasting samples.

When I think of a blended wine, I think first of a wine made by blending different varieties, as in a Bordeaux or in a Rhône-style wine. Blending multiple varieties allows for greater complexity and balance in the finished wine. Blending of vintages, as in the production of a non-vintage Champagne or sparkling wine, allows for consistency from year-to-year…a house style. But, it is also possible to blend wines of the same variety from different regions to produce wines of balance and elegance. This is the tack taken by negotiant winery Adler Fels, established in 1979, with great success in the two wines we tasted.

Adler Fels Chardonnay2015 Adler Fels Chardonnaymedium yellow in the glass with generous stone fruit and melon aromas. Delicate melon flavors combine with stone fruit flavors and backnotes of juicy citrus zest.  As fruit flavors taper off, juicy acidity lingers along with citrus pith and hints of spice on the finish. The wine is medium bodied and offers pleasing Chardonnay aromas and flavors. 14.4% abv. SRP $19.99

Bright, flavorful and not too weighty, this Chardonnay is easy to sip on its own and will pair well with a variety of food. It would be delightful with appetizers and a delicious accompaniment to butternut squash soup, roasted chicken or a crab salad.

Winemaker Linda Trotta was able to choose from among small lots of Chardonnay sourced from Monterey County and the Russian River Valley. The 2015 vintage is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay from the two regions. Varietal character in this Chardonnay comes through clearly.

Adler Fels Pinot Noir2014 Adler Fels Pinot Noir — light ruby color in the glass with generous blackberry aromas backed by hints of damp earth. Blackberry and raspberry flavors predominate, along with earthy, mushroom and berry bramble flavors. The tannins are smooth in this medium-bodied Pinot which offers generous flavors and aromas and a medium-length finish. 14.4% abv. SRP $27.99

Once again, this wine is true to the Pinot Noir variety. With just a short time in the glass the full Pinot aromas are evident. It is not a weightless, etherial Pinot Noir, but neither is it heavy and alcoholic. This Pinot Noir will please a wide variety of Pinot drinkers and it is very food friendly. We made a pizza to pair with this Pinot, because Pinot and pizza is a natural pairing for us. Winemaker Aaron Bader’s 2014 Pinot Noir includes 76% Sta. Rita Hills and 24% Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Adler Fels translates to Eagle Rock in German and refers to the location of the winery which sits on a crest in the Mayacamas Mountains. The mountain range divides Napa Valley and Sonoma County, two well-established wine regions. It seems especially appropriate that the winery would have a foot in more than one wine region, as it were, given their negotiant and regional-blending style of winemaking. Both wines are widely distributed.

Cheers!

2 Comments

  1. How interesting. Because I’m analytical, I always like wines from one specific place, but it’s true, you can get more complex results from blending from more than one place. I’m a Californian, and I love all these areas of California

    • Hi Carol. Yes, I know what you mean. I often look for vineyard-designate wines and some winemakers even get so specific as to harvest just particular blocks from a vineyard for a bottling. It’s all interesting to me and founded on the skill of the winemaker. Thanks for your comments. Cheers!

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