Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
$32 (Wine Club Reorder: $28)
Ilaria is owned by Anna and Mario Monticelli, both graduates of UC Davis and both have worked with renowned Napa winemaker Philippe Melka on different projects. Anna was previously assistant winemaker at Seavey and Bryant Family and is the winemaker at Piña, where she also makes Ilaria.
Mario was born into the industry – his father emigrated to the US from Italy and worked for over 50 years at Gallo. Mario was assistant winemaker to Philippe Melka for several projects before becoming the winemaker at Quixote and later Trinchero. He is currently a consulting winemaker for a number of vintners.
The 2019 growing season began about two weeks earlier than usual.
The Russian River Valley experienced some rain during flowering,
followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature
gradually. Fruit ripened at lower sugars, thanks to the extended, cool growing season, and produced Chardonnay full of flavor, fresh acidity, and balance.
“The 2019 Ilaria Russian River Valley Chardonnay showcases gorgeous aromas of pear, ripe melon, juicy peach, guava, and passion fruit. Exquisite layers of spring flowers, marzipan, crème brûlée, beeswax, and sea spray continue to unfold on the seductive complex nose. This wine exhibits extraordinary textural finesse. The saline notes and vibrant acidity balance the luxurious creaminess on the palate. This savory multi-faceted wine ends with a decadent and compelling finish.” 92 points – Jeb Dunnuck
Enjoy with a variety of young cheeses, prosciutto, and melon. For heartier dishes, pair with fresh Dungeness crab, grilled chicken with fruit salsa, or pork chops with capers and Meyer lemon.
Amy Ryan – January 2022