By Chris Gill
One of my favorite summer activities is seeking out the best lobster shacks along the Northeastern coast from Connecticut to Maine. On my journeys this summer I’ll be bringing along bottles of 2009 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, which is a great match for the rich, sweet meat of this clawed crustacean, whether boiled, steamed, or grilled. Many drinkers consider Rombauer the ultimate expression of the buttery, creamy style of Chardonnay, and the 2009 is so buttery and lemony that you might just want to dip the lobster in the wine instead of the usual garnishes.
While many rich Chardonnay wines tend to be over-oaked, the 2009 Rombauer has just a hint of oak in the background, which allows fruit flavors of lemon, pineapple, pear, and green apple to come to the forefront. There’s just enough crisp acidity to cut through the richness of butter-dipped lobster without any bitterness or astringency on the finish. The wine is exceptionally smooth and bursting with fresh, crisp flavors, but it’s not aggressive or overblown like many California Chardonnays have become in the recent quest for power, which fortunately has started to wane. The balanced character makes the 2009 Rombauer Chardonnay a versatile match for a wide variety of foods —no wonder Rombauer is one of the most popular Chardonnays served in American restaurants.
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