Look to the celebrated Simi Winery in Healdsburg, Calif., for a Chardonnay to take the edge of an 80-degree day and dazzle your taste buds. The 2010 Simi Chardonnay from Sonoma, $18 top price, is a bright, fruit-packed powerhouse that’s like Chardonnay on steroids. It’s a cocktail of green apple, nectarine, lime and pear, and spice off the oak barrels. It’s so ripe you can taste the tannins on the skins. There’s a minerality in the background that teams up with that sensation of tannin. It’s so aromatic it’s like drinking perfume. Pair it up with scallops, lobster or salmon, or grilled chicken or spicy Asian fare. It’s pretty and it’s powerful.
Simi is celebrating its 136th anniversary this year. Enjoy this wonderful video about its history and the string of women winemakers who led the way.
Steve Reeder is the current winemaker at Simi and Susan Lueker is director of winemaking. Reeder made headlines in 1999 when Wine Spectator picked his 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages as Wine of the Year — a first for a Sonoma County wine.