I first had Forman Chardonnay at Dine restaurant in San Francisco with a whole pack of Japanese colleagues who were starry eyed about California wine. The Forman that we ordered them to go with their crab cakes only encouraged their obsession.
Since then I have had Forman Chardonnay only on a couple of occasions, and each time I have enjoyed it. Those who are looking for a classic oaky and buttered California Chardonnay may want to steer clear, however, because Ric Forman makes his wines more in a European style. His Chardonnays in particular are much more mineral and citrus infused than one would expect. He uses no Malolactic fermentation, and relies on the interaction between the natural acids in his grapes and the characteristics of his barrells, just like the good old boys in Chablis. I, however, find that these more acidic characteristics make the wines much more enjoyable with a wider variety of food.
The wine pours as pale straw into the glass, but yellow enough to know that it is a Chardonnay. The nose is strong and tart with aromas of unripe yellow plums, kiwi, and pears. The body merges a bartlett pear and pinapple flavor to create a cool, juicy, slightly tropical fruit flavor that is modulated with mild oak and toasted bread notes. The finish is clean and medium in length.
This is one of the few California Chardonnays that I would pair with the classic French escargots, or for those who find it easier to find and clean Mussels rather than snails, I'd recommend moules au beurre d'escargots.
Overall Score: 9
How Much?: $32
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Warm Up: Tannins I'll Drink to That: Winemaker Andy Erickson Vinography Unboxed: Week of April 17, 2016 Vinography Images: Bright Emerald Warm Up: Hermitage I'll Drink to That: Winemaker Jean-Louis Chave World's Greatest Sommelier Success Stories Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 4/17/16 I'll Drink to That: Christian Seely of AXA Millésimes A Rescued Vintage: 2013 Burgundy Highlights from La Paulée
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune