When the heat of the day transitions into a chilly night, we know that fall is here. And, for many, when the weather changes, so do our choices in wine and food. That crisp, mineral driven white wine that was perfect by the lake suddenly isn’t as satisfying while sitting next to the warmth of a backyard bonfire. The almost translucent rosé that paired so well with a fresh seafood salad enjoyed alfresco doesn’t taste as luscious with those spicy ribs falling off the bone at the tailgate barbecue (as you’re huddled under a blanket).
Located in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, McIntyre Estate Vineyard lies along a 12 mile stretch of benchland that produces wines of character and complexity. Planted in 1972, the 80-acre site of which 60 acres are under vine, offers some of the area’s oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. Proprietor Steve McIntyre, who also owns and operates Monterey Pacific, notes that the McIntyre Estate Vineyard was among the first properties in the Santa Lucia Highlands to be SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certified.
McIntyre 2016 Chardonnay ($28) will satisfy every Chardonnay lover’s palate. Intense aromas of juicy citrus, yellow flowers, and stone fruit paved the way to flavors of lemon, citrus, baked apple, tropical fruit, and bananas. Thanks to a round mouthfeel, vibrant acidity, and juicy finish, pair this wine with roast chicken and fingerling potatoes for Sunday supper.
McIntyre 2016 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay ($38) is sophistication in a bottle. Creamy on both the nose and palate, structure, complexity, and minerality were obvious with each sip. I discovered notes of oak and vanilla, almonds and warm apple pie, lemon and stone fruit as I appreciated the brilliant acidity and lingering finish. Pair this wine with homemade crabcakes, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, and candlelight.