Posts Tagged With: chardonnay

TasteCamp 2010 – Experiment gone awry!

I love wineries who get inventive with their tastings. Whether it’s cool flights, vintage comparisons or in this case comparisons between oak aging, it always brings out the geek in me. Unfortunately this was an experiment gone awry! Instead of one over oaked Chardonnay, this winery had three, well really four.  The cool experiment was three identical Chardonnays, the only difference being the oak they were aged in, French, American and Hungarian.  Sounds cool right?  I think the winemaker achieved his goal, we were evaluating wood, not wine.  We would have been better off sticking chunks of barrel in our mouth and topping it with an eyedropper of Chardonnay.  Honestly the oak was so overpowering, that was all I tasted.  Sounds harsh I know, but this could have been a really cool exercise.  But instead of evaluating the flavor of the wine, I was evaluating the flavor of the oak. To me it seemed that the oak was the focus, not the wine, and that’s where I think it went awry. I have been to plenty of tastings that mirror this type of experiment and it can be a really great learning especially when done blind.

Oak or no oak it’s a personal choice, just give me a little fruit to go along with it.  I didn’t see a whole lot of oak mis-treatment over the weekend in the Finger Lakes, but Chardonnay and Merlot seemed to stand out as two varieties that can’t handle new wood.  Not sure why that is!  It would be great to see Chablis style Chardonnays out of the Finger Lakes.  With the acidity and minerality that the Rieslings show, teasing/expressing those in a Chardonnay would make a great wine.  Obviously this is my opinion, and plenty of people like OAK BOMBS, but I prefer a little more subtlety.

Cheers!

Advertisements
Categories: Taste Camp | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

A little more oak than I would’ve liked – 2005 Domaine des Deux Roches Saint-Veran

When I turn to a white Burgundy I look to enjoy a wine that is crisp, lots of minerality and great fruit but not a lot of oak. Unfortunately the 2005 Domaine des Deux Roches Saint-Veran “Rives de Longsault” ($20) did provide, in my opinion, a bit to much pure oak aromas and flavors than I would have liked but not enough to put me off. Saint-Veran was granted AOC status in 1971, and Domaine des Deux Roches is one of the finest producers in the area according to many experts.

The information on vinification and barrel aging on the website is limited to A slow alcoholic fermentation is done in temperature controlled stainless steel vats ( 70%) and barrels (30%) in order to

preserve the freshness of the fruit and express the best soil expression. After alcoholic and malolactic fermentations we age our wine on fine lees until April.” I am not sure if only 30% remained in oak or if all of it went in after primary fermentation and what percentage was new versus used barrels. I imagine that it was a good percentage of new oak as I am to overly sensitive to the “Oak Monster” as Gary Vaynerchuk calls it.

2005domaindesrochesMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: toasty oak, pear, persimmon, butter and hazelnut

Taste: toast, citrus, wood, mineral, blue slate, apple and pear

Mouthfeel: loads of acidity, full bodied and tart

Finish: long with the acidity lingering around

As far as structure goes I think this is classic Burgundy, but again the predominance of oak at the front end of both the aroma and flavor profile surprised me. The rest of the flavors were very layered and came through quite nicely despite the oak presence. The acidity and minerality were fantastic and this would make a great pairing for shellfish. If you are a fan of Burgundy but would like a little more “new world” oak influence give this one a try, although in doing some internet searching I didn’t see too much of the ’05 out there, mostly ’06 and ’07.

Cheers!

Categories: $10-$20, Burgundy, wine review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2008 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay

Wine Information –

Appellation: Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Fermentation: partial Malolactic Fermentation

Cooperage: None

Price: $17

2007_nz_uocMy 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.

Cheers!

*I threw away the bottle before I took a picture so this is of the ’07 Unoaked Chardonnay

Categories: $10-$20, chardonnay, wine review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

My First 2008 Wine of 2008

In its 6th vintage of their Early Wine, Macari Vineyards taps into their Austrian heritage to produce this Chardonnay that is bottled and released within a month and a half of harvest.  Macari Vineyards, established in 1995 and located on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island has 180 acres of vines on their 500 acre estate. Growing a bit of everything, it looks like their primary wine focus is on Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

 

earlywine_backlabelThe 2008 Early Wine Chardonnay ($16) is as I said a quick to market wine similar to Beaujolais Nouveau.  The 2008 was harvested on September 9th, bottled on October 16th and released on October 23rd. The result is an “interesting” Chardonnay that if I had tasted blind would have thought it to be a Sauvignon Blanc. It is a very refreshing wine with sharp acidity and a slight effervescence on the tongue that would be a great summertime sipper. Unfortunately it is meant to be drank early, so summertime is about 8 months out for this wines prime. Luckily it was an unusually warm day in Richmond last night so it felt a bit like summer.

 

 

earlywine_frontlabelMy Tasting Notes –

Nose – Fresh cut grass, citrus, pear, a touch of honey, and something tropical that I couldn’t put my finger on

Taste – Tropical fruit, hay, citrus and a splash of Granny Smith apple

Mouthfeel – very crisp with slight effervescence on the tongue

Finish – longer than expected, I would say medium length, with mineral and tropical notes lingering

 

The wine had a nice tartness to it and seemed to have a bit of residual sugar that evened that out a bit. The website for Macari didn’t have the specs on the wine so I am not sure if I am correct on my R.S. assumption. At a case production of a little over 1700 cases, Macari says this sells out fast upon release and seeing this in your local grocery story is probably unlikely unless you live in the New York area. Actually this wine may only be available at the winery but don’t quote me on that.

 

Thanks to Macari for sending me a bottle as I wouldn’t have been able to try it otherwise.

 

Cheers.

Categories: $10-$20, New York Wines | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments