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Chanticleer Wines: Something to Crow About

November 12, 2009

There are a lot of little gems in Yountville — family operated wineries producing a few hundred cases a year that are a little off the beaten path — Chanticleer is one. Located on a sunny, east facing slope on the west side of our patch of the Valley, this boutique winery produces two premium wines incorporating the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes grown in the 8 acre Morningside Vineyard. Proprietors Caddy and George Grodahl and Chris Dearden, General Manager and winemaker for Benessere Vineyards began their partnership in 2000. Because case production is small and reasonably priced (under $60) each vintage sells out quickly.

The 2007 Chanticleer Sangiovese was recently released, and not much remains of the 400 cases produced, but if you’re quick you may still be able to snap it up. This wine is bursting with ripe blueberry and violet aromas and is youthful and full in the mouth with complementary fruit, oak and grainy tannins. George and Caddy feel that it’s the finest Sangiovese produced from Chanticleer to date. Sunset magazine described it as “A wonderful mix of spicy earth and berries – especially dusty strawberries and raspberries.”

Be sure to note the magnums available, and if you get a chance, ask George about how they named the winery — it’s a great story, and he does a fine job of the telling as well.

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