Juan Gomez

What better way to spend an October evening than with a long, slow candlelit dinner over world-class French cuisine and a bottle of crisp, light wine? One on our radar lately is Napa Valley’s William Hill Estate Bench Blend Chardonnay 2007, which holds a notable place on the list at L’Escalier, crown jewel of Palm Beach’s most iconic resort, The Breakers.

L’Escalier is quite famous in its own right, having won not only AAA’s Five Diamond Award but also Wine Spectator’s Grand Award every year since 1981. And perhaps the crown jewel of L’Escalier itself is its towering wine-racking display, which holds nearly a third of the 28,000 bottles comprising The Breakers’ collection.

One Napa Valley Chardonnay in particular stands apart: Chosen by on-site Master Sommelier Juan Gomez, William Hill’s Bench Blend 2007 boasts a sophisticated style and flavor profile totally unique on today’s enological landscape. Here, Gomez describes why it’s his current Chardonnay of choice.

What makes Chardonnay such an enduring mainstay?
It has a diversity of styles appealing to different palates and goes well with a variety of dishes: from Champagne or sparkling wine, to medium- or full-bodied still wine, to a late-harvest dessert wine.

Could you tell us about your recent pick for this varietal?
The William Hill Bench Blend Chardonnay is a wine with great quality, finesse and balance. It displays overtones of ripe pineapple, Golden Delicious apple and apricot with notes of vanilla and cinnamon on the long finish.

Which L’Escalier dish would you pair it with?
Either our Dover sole beurre monté or Jerusalem artichoke soup. The creamy, buttery flavors are enhanced by the wine’s notes of toasty oak and sweet, ripe fruit. The William Hill’s Bench Blend Chardonnay is really unique, displaying intense fruit flavors with layers and layers of complexity.

The Breakers Palm Beach, 1 S. County Road, 888-273-2537

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