August, 2017 Wine Club White

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2017-08_WineClubWhiteTHE 2016 JEAN LEON 3055 CHARDONNAY
As a young man in Spain, Jean Leon had two dreams: to own a luxurious restaurant and to create exceptional wines bearing his name. He stowed away on a ship to New York when he was 19. He worked as a New York cab driver and landed a job as a waiter in a restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Here he met the brightest stars of Hollywood, struck up a friendship with James Dean and established the most luxurious restaurant in Beverly Hills at that time. He then focused on creating wines that would satisfy his VIP clients at his restaurant.

He started by planting French grape varietals—Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay—in the Pendès region of Spain. The winery, founded in 1963, was in the style of a Bordeaux château. The winery also was among the first in Pendès to introduce single-vineyard wines. Since 2008 the vineyards have practiced organic farming and all Jean Leon wines are now certified organic.

The 3055 Chardonnay (3055 was Jean Leon’s taxi-cab medallion number) is aged 2 months in large French oak barrels before being bottled. The resulting wine is a brilliant, pale yellow, with aromas of tropical fruit—mango, papaya and pineapple. The palate is fresh and lively with a long, lingering finish.

The winemaker recommends pairing this wine with shellfish and grilled seafood and Cabrales cheese (blue cheese made in Asturias, Spain).

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