A Napa Take On Chablis

Today’s Story: Alpha Omega

Alpha Omega is the creation of Robin and Michelle Baggett following their move to Napa Valley in 2006. Though Robin began his foray into wine much earlier, in 1988 as a grape grower and in 1998 by starting Tolosa Winery, Michelle worked in the design and development of hospitality brands before the couple culminated their pursuits into Alpha Omega.

While Alpha Omega is known for their red wines (they make multiple excellent single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon options) that range from Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc to Merlot and blends, the winery produces some great Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and late harvest whites. I recently had an opportunity to taste at the winery through a library of single vineyard Cabs, however it was the Chardonnay I tasted there that led me to want to try the Unoaked variation I am reviewing today.

Today’s Wine: 2015 AO Chardonnay Unoaked

100% Chardonnay; 13.4% ABV

2015 marked the last growing season of the recent drought, and while quality of the wines remains elevated the fruit yields dropped and one needs to be more discerning in stocking up. I’ve had the opportunity to taste many 2014s and 2015s side-by-side, and I love the way 2015s seem structured and more charismatic while being drinkable now after a decant or years into the future.

In appearance today’s wine is a very pale straw yellow, almost water-white on the edges of the glass. The “lower” alcohol content is apparent on the sides of the glass with a lack of legs but more spotting. Aromas of green apple, pear, peach skin, and white pepper leap from the glass, while I also get a hint of petrol. Once on the palate, this full-bodied Chard showcases notes of lemon, peach, white florals, and mineral. Closing out each sip comes vibrant and high acidity into a well-rounded finish that will only get better with more time in the bottle. Great effort by Alpha Omega in producing a Burgundy-styled white wine.

Price: $35, a little higher than I’d like. Nonetheless, if you find yourself with a bottle, pair this with light fish (like Dover Sole) or shellfish.

Bonus: Single Vineyard Cabs

Since I mentioned the single vineyard Cabernet bottlings, I figured I might as well list them here:

Thomas, Stagecoach, Sunshine Valley, and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, To Kalon, Georges III, Las Piedras, and Missouri Hopper.

These are some truly special offerings from Alpha Omega, so be sure to keep an eye out for them for a special occasion. I will hopefully be reviewing one, or multiple, sometime soon!

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