Wine Information –
Appellation: Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Fermentation: partial Malolactic Fermentation
My Tasting Notes –
Nose: lemon rind, tropical fruit, pear juice and melon
Taste: key lime pie, apple, slate
Mouthfeel: slight effervescence, medium body, crisp acidity
Finish: long and clean
The 2008 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay was good but not great. There isn’t anything bad I can say about it but the fruit was all rather muted both on the aromatics as well as the palate. Honestly it drank more like a big Pinot Grigio than an unoaked Chardonnay. I am a big fan of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir but this one just missed the mark for me. Especially for the price, there are tons of great unoaked options out there from the United States as well as Australia or even Chablis.
*I threw away the bottle before I took a picture so this is of the ’07 Unoaked Chardonnay
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.
Friday night at the Wine Cellar Jeff will be continuing his education series by sharing the many styles of Chardonnay with us. He will have five up for tasting that will run the Chardonnay gamut from buttery and oaky from California to French Burgundy.
FREE as always from 5:00 to 8:00