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2007 Kendall Jackson Chardonnay

February 5, 2010 - Norman Bentley
# 04-10-PIE

I read that a reader had asked for information regarding the German presence in the Matlacha, Pine Island area. My wife's grandfather, Ed Haubenreich, was a German born, American citizen, who homesteaded our cottage in Matlacha in 1946. He had retired from the L&N Railroad in Tennesse and moved to Matlacha, which he described as a "Fishing Paradise!" In the years that Ed lived and fished the waters of Matlacha he saw many weather events, including numerous hurricanes. I don't think however, that there have been many trends as dramatic as the comparison between the summer of 2009 and the winter of 2010!

Mary and I were down in June of 2009 to fish and relax in our little cottage, and it was hotter than Blue Blazes! Now we have had a winter so cold, that it has killed many of our fish! The following is the report I wrote for my readers in Atlanta after our June trip last year.

I promised a fishing and wine report from my trip to Matlacha, Florida, but I am sorry to say that all I have is a restaurant and wine report. Just as it was here in Atlanta last week, there was a heat wave in south Florida with temperatures between 95 and 100 the entire time we were there.

We caught a few small trout, but all of the big ones were out in the deep blue ocean trying to stay cool! However, there are many really good seafood restaurants in the the Matlacha area, where we caught really good fish and shellfish inside, where it was air-conditioned. At a place called Red's, we feasted on the local Pine Island Clams steamed in butter and garlic, with a very good bottle of 2007 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay. If you have never had Pine Island Clams, then you are really missing out on a wonderful treat, which was complimented by the citrus and apple tones of the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.

The best meal of the trip was at our old standby favorite, Moretti's Italian Seafood Restaurant. I had a seafood platter piled to the ceiling with fish, shrimp, scallops, oysters and calimari. These treats are fried in a delicate almost Tempura-like batter, and served with marinara sauce and spaghetti on the side, with a big Ceasar salad and fresh baked bread. This may be the best calimari west of the Mediterranean. To accompany this extravaganza we chose the 2007 Maso Canali Pinot Grigio. This was a perfect choice with swirling flavors of tropical fruit mixed with pear undertones, and a clean and crisp finish just begging for another sip!

Norm's score is Kendall Jackson Chardonnay - 90 Maso Canali Pinot Grigio - 89


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