The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 128

6  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2017 by Deborah Parker Wong photos by Alexander Rubin One way of describing Landmark Vineyards' Overlook Chardonnay—which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year—is "sensitively oaked." As one of nature's most mal- leable grapes, Chardonnay often finds itself subject to the whims of fashion, but when trends fade, a style based on sensibility will remain. At Landmark, remain it has. Chardonnay has long been Landmark's calling card; the winery rose to fame when its Sonoma Chardonnay first graced the table at the Reagan White House in the 1980s, followed by a long list of accolades that has opened it up to new markets. From its appearances on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, to the legacy of 90-point scores, the anniversary of Overlook Chardonnay is worth celebrating. The story of Overlook Chardonnay began in 1991 when Damaris Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of inventor John Deere, decided to pro- duce a wine as an homage to the Deere family home that overlooked the original John Deere factory in Grand Detour, Illinois. When Winemaker Emeritus Eric Stern brought in famed consultant wine- maker Helen Turley, the reputation of Overlook became even more established and its style even more refined, utilizing traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques that embody Landmark's style to this day. Under the direction of current winemaker Greg Stach, Landmark has pursued a centrist, balanced approach to crafting Overlook Chardonnay while also giving a nod to its past. In the cellar, native yeast fermentation is still used along with barrel-fermenting in top-quality French oak barrels. Full malolactic, without the overt diacetyl notes, and lees-aging and stirring are utilized for helping "figure out what is noise and what I can apply to eliminate it," says Stach. But at Landmark, it always begins and ends with the vineyard in mind. Landmark winemaker Greg Stach and his devoted companion, Tag, never tire of the winery's inspiring view of the Mayacamas.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - September 2017