Simply Cutrer: Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, Now In Cans!
Our first California Chardonnay obsession was Sonoma-Cutrer. We had “discovered” the wine, made in Sonoma’s Russian River growing region, on the opposite coast, in our hometown of New York City.
When we took our first trip to Sonoma County, we were treated to a tour of the winery and an hour of relaxation in the tasting room.
We loved the buttery, oaky, fruit-forward, full-bodied wine, made in the tradition of the great white wines of Burgundy (with a tip of the hat to Californian style), aged in barrels of French oak (the source of “buttery” and “oaky”).
Since the first 1981 Cutrer Vineyard Chardonnay, the winery has grown exponentially, producing Chardonnay from six different vineyards that express different terroir* qualities, plus reserve wines and blends. It’s a cornucopia of Chardonnay happiness. (Not to mention, the winery also makes delicious Pinot Noirs.)
And now, the award-winning vintner has launched Simply Cutrer, the brand’s first canned wine: ideal for one person, easy to transport, convenient to recycle—and, in our own lifestyle, great for party favors (with a ribbon) and stocking stuffers.
With Simply Cutrer, the venerable brand is breaking tradition by offering wine lovers a fine wine in a can. (While Sonoma-Cutrer is perhaps the most prestigious brand in the market, here’s more about premium wine in a can.)
As a winery that has ranked at the top of the Most Requested Chardonnay list in Wine & Spirits magazine’s annual restaurant poll, Sonoma-Cutrer hopes that Simply Cutrer will change the way consumers perceive wine in a can.
While the wine is ready for summer sipping at the pool or a barbecue, cookout‡, or picnic, it is versatile to pair with anything from a Salade Niçoise to chicken, fish, and shellfish.
Most bottles of Sonoma-Cutrer are made from grapes grown in specific vineyards (see *terroir, below). The winery does make wine from a blend of grapes from different vineyards, and the Chardonnay grapes for Simply Cutrer are a blend sourced from different vineyards.
In Simply Cutrer, aromas of peach, nectarine, and melon mingle with hints of vanilla, toasted nuts, and light caramel. On the palate, Simply Cutrer features notes of ripe pear and peach, and a long, lush finish.
Simply Cutrer has an ABV‡‡ of 13.9%. It retails for an SRP‡‡ of $19.99 for a four-pack of 250ml cans. It is available for purchase in select states‡‡‡ and on the Sonoma-Cutrer website.
Stock up for home and for gifting.
A white wine grape originating in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, Chardonnay is now grown wherever wine is produced. It’s the most-consumed white wine in the world [source].
While many ampelographers (botanists who specialize in the identification and classification of grape vines) had theories as to the origins of the Chardonnay grape, modern DNA fingerprinting suggests that Chardonnay is a cross between the Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc grape varieties. The Romans are thought to have brought Gouais Blanc from Croatia to Gaul, and it was widely cultivated by peasants in eastern France [source].
The Pinot Noir grapes in Burgundy grew in close proximity to the Gouais Blanc, providing ample opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parent grapes were genetically distant, the hybrids were vigorous and were selected for further propagation.
A highly vigorous vine, the Chardonnay grape is easy to cultivate and adapts to different growing conditions. It takes on the attributes of its terroir and winemaker.
In France, Chardonnay is the second-most widely planted white grape variety just behind Ugni Blanc and ahead of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. (Ugni Blanc is grown extensively in the Cognac and Armagnac regions, and is distilled into brandy.)
In addition to being the grape used in White Burgundy, Chardonnay is one of the two main grapes used to make Champagne (the other is Pinot Noir).
In the U.S., it is the number one white wine grape in California, predominantly in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
It is also an important grape in the Willamette Valley of Oregon; in the Alto-Aldige and Puglia regions of Italy; in the Marlborough region of New Zealand; and in the Thracian Valley of Bulgaria; and in Argentina, Australia, and Chile, among other regions.
‡Barbecue is meat cooked “low and slow” inside direct heat. A cookout is when foods—burgers, hot dogs, fish, corn on the cob, etc.—are cooked over an open flame.
‡‡ABV is alcohol by volume. SRP is standard retail price.
‡‡‡Select states include Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Additional markets expected in 2023 include Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, Oregon, Utah, and Washington (availability is subject to change).