Daryl Rex Groom’s (DRG), Russian River Valley Chardonnay (2013). I have been ABC (anything but Chardonnay) since the 1970s when the California wine industry started the Big Oak and Butter Chardonnay fad. I am just not a fan of a palate sensation of sipping margarine through a wooden straw which is how I feel about that style of Chardonnay. I always preferred the dry fruit forward approach of a wonderful French Chablis. As with all fad’s they fade and finally it is happening in the USA, we now have choices, those who like Big Oak and Butter will still find it with the usual familiar offerings, but now we begin to see a reawakening of the French style. Daryl Rex Groom’s DRG Russian River Valley Chardonnay is just such a wine, done the right way.
Daryl, an Australian with a Penfolds pedigree stepped forward as a leader in producing Euro style Chardonnay using California grapes. He produced this wine with the assistance of Naked Wines, a winery that helps new and up-coming winemakers let their creativity flow. The 2013 offering really turned my head. It drank well from the start and continues to improve every time open another bottle. The good news, this wine remains wonderful, the bad news, Daryl makes wine it in such small batches, you can’t get this vintage anymore and his current offering are also out of stock. So you will have to rely on my review and live vicariously through my words.