What makes the Gamble Ranch so special?
In 1976, when Ed was still at Beringer, he began working with the Gamble Family and sourcing Chardonnay fruit from their ranch. This is a huge property, about 600 acres, in the heart of Napa Valley – spanning the Yountville and Oakville Crossroads. It is divided into dozens of small blocks according to soil type, aspect, etc. Our fruit comes from a few small blocks planted with a mix of rootstocks and clones that was planted in 1973. It was the fruit from this ranch that won Ed Wine Spectator Wine of the Year in 1996 and was number 15 on the same list in 2007 under the Sbragia label.
Aromas of poached pear, vanilla and ripe apples practically jump out of the glass. Meyer lemon curd and butterscotch appear underneath the primary scents with an interesting rocky minerality that helps to balance the richness and creaminess of this wine created by full malolactic fermentation and 18 months of barrel aging. After 100% malolactic fermentation the wine remains in barrel sur lies and is stirred (batonnage) once a week while it is in barrel. This aids in the development of the Gamble’s signature rich mouthfeel, crème brulee, and butterscotch qualities. Each vintage of the Gamble exhibits an orange or orange peel quality that balance out the wine in its flavor profile. The finish might be another hallmark of this wine. It tends to linger on the palate.
How to Pair
The Gamble Ranch Chardonnay tends to pair with foods that can match or balance off its size and richness. Creamier based soups, butter rich dishes, thicker heavier fish, lobster, crab cakes, heavier chicken dishes, and even some brighter vegetables that work well with butter–like corn–are all great food pairings.