Tasting White Burgundy for the first time can be a real revelation for one who is just embarking on a wine-learning adventure.
This is particularly true if one’s only exposure to the Chardonnay variety up to that point had been the style embraced by many California vintners – oaky and buttery to the point that varietal fruit flavor is nearly impossible to detect.
The best White Burgundy wines – that is, Chardonnay wines grown and crafted in the Burgundy region of France – can be quite bracing on the palate, and offer a more seamless melding of the fruit and oak components.
If there’s one California winery that embraces the Burgundian style of Chardonnay-making, it’s Sonoma-Cutrer. And much of the credit for that can go to the estate’s long-time winemaker, Terry Adams.
Now, after nearly 30 years at Sonoma-Cutrer, Adams has decided to retire next spring or summer.
“I’ve decided to retire because I’m looking to do some exciting new things in the next chapter of my life – to seek new adventures,” said Adams, who is 61.
Sonoma-Cutrer’s “Russian River Ranches” Chardonnay consistently ranks among the most requested wines in fine dining restaurants in the U.S., according to the annual Wine & Spirits magazine survey. A few years ago, the winery introduced a Pinot Noir that has received top ratings from many wine aficionados.
“We will be forever grateful to Terry for his nearly three decades of exemplary service to this great winery,” said John Hudson, brand director for Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. “And we’re very happy that he will continue to lead our winemaking team over the next several months during the transition as we identify a successor as head winemaker.”
Here’s hoping the “next” Terry Adams will be able to maintain Sonoma-Cutrer’s track record of excellence – not to mention its Burgundian style.