Chardonnay from Unlikely Places

Since tonight is the Chardonnay tasting at the Wine Cellar I thought I would write about a Chardonnay that Megan and I had recently from an unlikely place.  This summer when were in Piemonte Italy one of the wineries we visited was Rizzi (click here for the post and info on Rizzi), and one of the wines we brought home from Rizzi was a Chardonnay, actually 2 bottles.  When the winemaker Enrico pulled out the Chardonnay we were very surprised because it is not a varietal that commands much acreage in this part of Italy.  Although there are some minor plantings of Chardonnay the 3 main grapes of Piemonte are Arneis, Cortese and Moscato. 

The 2006 Langhe Chardonnay from Rizzi is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and is bottled the March following the harvest.  The vineyards that produce the grapes for this wine are south, southwest facing and consist of soil that is composed of white clay and sand.

My Tasting Notes

Nose – Apple, mineral, cut grass, chalky/peppermint, maple syrup

Taste – Apple, pear, peach, raw nuttiness, white grape juice

Mouthfeel – Medium body, with a round and voluptuous feel while remaining quite crisp

Finish – Long with lemon and grass flavors lingering

Overall this was a great wine and the best part is after the euro dollar conversion it was about $7 (4,50 Euro).  Holy cow, what a great value!  I would have expected this wine to be crisper than it was since it did not go through Malolactic Fermentation and did not have any time in oak. With little “handling” of the wine in the winery (cantina) it was left to express its wonderful fruit character laced with the mineral and chalkiness of its terroir. They do not sell this in the US unfortunately, but if you happen to be in Northern Italy, keep your eye out for it.

Cheers!

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Categories: chardonnay, piemonte, wine review | Leave a comment

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