You are likely familiar with one of the best-selling California red wines on the domestic U.S. wine market, The Prisoner, created by The Prisoner Wine Company of Northern California. However, The Prisoner Wine Company—named for the iconic wine originally made by founding winemaker Dave Phinney—makes much more than just The Prisoner red wine.
This week we’re focused on The Prisoner Chardonnay ($40), with its unsettling label art of a prisoner in shackles. According to the winemakers, “Our brand name and namesake wine, The Prisoner, were inspired by the classic sketch Le Petit Prisonier by 19th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The sketch is part of Goya’s series entitled, ‘The Disasters of War,’ created to be a visual protest against the injustice and brutality of the Spanish War of Independence in 1808. From our founding, The Prisoner Wine Company has stood in solidarity with the fight against racism, mass incarceration and the systematic oppression of Black communities. We are committed to educating ourselves, embracing diversity and creating an inclusive environment where all our employees and business partners feel safe, respected and valued.”
The Prisoner Chardonnay is made with Chardonnay grapes, obviously, but also blends in Gewürztraminer and Roussanne. The result is a beautiful wine that is subtly oaky and buttery with gorgeous vanilla, cinnamon, apple and brioche aromas. On the tongue this big-bodied wine offers baked dessert flavors of apple and peach pie, creme brulee, pineapple, and subtle toasted oak. My wife and I recently enjoyed a bottle of The Prisoner Chardonnay that we brought to drink at Log Haven restaurant and it was a beautiful pairing for Chef Dave Jones’ delicious miso-marinated halibut dish with udon noodles, maitake mushrooms, shishitos and yuzu ponzu. Give it a try!