This Russian River Valley Chard has a beautiful gold sheen to it. The nose is floral and full of citrus. Lemons, lime and vanilla bean all hit me. On the palate it is very rich and warm. The citrus theme continues but I note popcorn and honeysuckle join the fray. The mid palate is full bodied with a nice mouthfeel. I am enjoying the citrus without too much acidic cut. I was looking forward to a somewhat fuller wine and this one hits all the notes. The finish is crisp and clean with a core of marzipan to go alongside the refreshing fruit flavors of lemon, lime and green apple. Judicious oak use is noted and appreciated. I am pan searing some King Salmon to go with Battata Harra, a spicy Middle Eastern potato dish- I think the weight of this Chardy will go well with the fish and stand up to the fiery spices of the side dish. 91 points from me and 5 stars for this $16 wine. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This was the first wine of my Second Lockdown Virtual Tasting. It was the only white in the lineup, so it had to be a Chardonnay from California. I instructed everyone to chill half the bottle and reserve the other half at room temperature. We were going to do an experiment.
The wine is a nice golden color in the glass. The nose of the chilled wine had pear, apple and citrus notes. On the palate it followed the theme with some nice acidity. The finish was decent in length and showed off that Apple/pear combo nicely. I had researched whether this wine had undergone Malolactic fermentation but could not find proof from any literature, except to assume it had as the winery mentioned one other Chard in their portfolio that specifically did not go through Malo. The wine was quite sharp and lacked the telltale butter notes of the secondary fermentation, I’m baffled.
Anyways- we then tried the same wine at room temp. Huge differences with flavors and mouthfeel. The experiment worked, the point being that most pros taste whites at room temperature and we needed to see the differences. Besides the fuller body it included less citrus, more pear and apple, alongside a touch of baking spices. The wine drank beautifully for me and I gave it 91 points. I would pair it with summer salad, prawn cocktail or blackened Salmon and drink till 2026. $20 gets it 5 stars. Salut….
Pale gold color with long legs in the glass and a nose of apples, pears and honey. The first impression is of a somewhat flabby wine, mouth filling and full of charm. The mid palate comes alive with quince, gooseberries and a touch of vanilla. The acidity is restrained and the wine has a decent finish. Very Cali-styled wine that got 91 points from the pros. I’m just not that into the level of Malolactic fermentation and the weight of the oak used. Some might love this style. I am going with 90 points and for $38 retail it gets 3 stars. I think it needs some fresh fish, perhaps oysters Rockefeller. Salut…..
On my recent trip to Napa I ended up the Cosentino winery where Moxie and I visited two years ago. Funny thing is she had a broken foot on that trip and I had one on this. I digress. I ended up tasting everything I could get my hands onto and ordering a case of wine to be shipped home- I also joined their mailing list, a first for me.
I was thinking of my parents when I ordered a few bottles of the Chard, which is made from Lodi fruit. They like it crisp, not buttery and certainly not sweet. This one filled all the requirements. Medium gold in color with a nose of fresh citrus, green apples and quince. The first impression is of a medium weight wine with pear, apple and lemon. Not overly worked- this wine has a slight hint of malolactic fermentation and a deft use of oak. Very crafty. Generous mouthfeel and a touch of acidity make it easy to drink. My member pricing was $16. I’m going with 88 points and 4 stars. Time to order more methinks, summer is coming and one needs a constant supply of chilled whites to pop at a moments notice! It will go awesomely with some grilled shrimp, perhaps salmon mousse and cucumbers on melba toast- you get the drift. Salut….
For the past two weekends I have been tinkering on the Big Green Egg, trying to perfect a Turkey so I am ready for Thanksgiving. The first effort was not very good, the recipe was too involved and the timing was not right plus I had to leave the grill alone for most of the afternoon to see my son’s football game. I tried to cook it ‘low and slow’ but it ended up being dry. This past weekend I tried it again, using the standard 325 degree heat, very little wood chunks, and a simple bouquet of herbs shoved up it’s heiny. It worked.
I planned on drinking the Mazilly Pommard with the bird and I opened this Cali Chard up for my folks and Moxie, who prefer white wine. I got in a glass or two myself and was glad I did, this wine is good. Light yellow in color was to be expected, so I delved right into the nose. Lemon zest, melon and yellow apples greeted me right off the bat. Zesty with a hint of steel were on my notes for an initial impression. I then got green apples and melons. A smooth transition to a delightful mid palate left me thinking it was not quite buttery but silky in texture. The wine had a long finish and I gave it 91 points. I paid around $24 at Costco for it and will give it 4 stars. It paired beautifully with the bird. It would also ring with some seafood, perhaps a creamy pasta. Tasty stuff. Salut….
I just returned home from my whirlwind Asian tour to find Moxie fixing up some BBQ chicken and veggies. I decided to try this well known California Chardonnay that I have been saving. Straw yellow in the glass it had a buttery nose of apple and lemon zest. More citrus and cloves on the initial with a marked acidity lurking in the background. Quince on the back end with a long finish which I found quite interesting. The wine appears to have undergone Malolactic fermentation with an oak influence, but it is not overdone. Balanced and bright without the flabbiness usually associated with this style of Cali chardonnay. I picked it up for $18 and give it 89 points. It went well with the Barbecue sauce by the way. I would pair it with seafood all day, it would kill a dozen oysters with ease. The wine sits at 13.5% alcohol, so be careful if you plan on sipping it poolside. A good effort from this well respected winery making it worthy of 4 Stars. Salut….
A friendly bartender gave me a sample of this stunner. Straight up one of the best Chardonnays I have had in a long time. Classic California Chard, but not over the top. Buttery, without being flabby. Citrusy, without being sour. Oaked, deftly. This is multi-dimensional and offers apricot and pineapple to go with the green apples. Crisp acidity, but not too sharp left me feeling refreshed, not flabby. I reckon this may need to be bought by the case and will be the champion at the next Salmon dinner I serve, or the next Chicken I grill, or I might just drink it for the hell of it…. 5 stars, 91 points (no brainer!). Salut….
Moxie and I traveled to Bali for a wedding, via Napa Valley. We ended up getting delayed on our arrival and missed out on winery visits, but the hotel had a beautiful terrace where we ordered this bottle to enjoy as an aperitif. Very young, and served from 375 ml, this was definitely a treat. Not too oaky or buttery, it was slightly more austere. Great apple meets lemon on the nose traversed to the palate where it was smoothly mixed with some butterscotch on the back end. Reminiscent of Burgundy, I sensed very aligned acidity, yet not razor sharp. There is a time and a place for that kind of component. This wine was very balanced and smooth. I enjoyed my glass immensely and would highly recommend it for a pre-dinner drink, but it would pair amazingly with some poached salmon and boiled new potatoes. I’m guessing this wine has at least 10 years in it and would be interesting to watch it’s development. At $36 per bottle on average, you are getting what you pay for here. Quality Napa Chardonnay at a fair price. 4 stars, 90 points….
An interesting blend of white wines from California, from the same clan that make Caymus and Belle Glos. Obviously a thoroughbred wine, this bottle is delicious. The label does not name varietals, but I am guessing a healthy dose of Viognier, a good proportion of Sauvignon Blanc, some Chardonnay and what else?
The Viognier is forefront, giving it that rose and floral scent that I love. Some apricots are also indicative of the semillon, let’s add that to the fray. I sense some cat pee and grass, telltale signs of Sauvignon Blanc and the balancer is the chardonnay. Acidity is decent, albeit not as sharp as I like in a white. Elegant and smooth on the palate, it has a long finish.
This wine is intriguing. It offers pre-dinner pleasure and paired well for my midweek fish and chips with the kids meal. In fact, Moxie even had a glass, which says something. It is not in everyone’s taste, yet I think it scores well technically and I really enjoyed it for the price. As an aside, I served Moxie hers in a Riedel Vinum Sauvignon Blanc glass while mine was poured into the Chardonnay version. Whilst you may be laughing at the sublety, there is a difference. Hers tasted more cat-peeish and had stronger green grass notes, while mine was more aromatic and fuller in the mouth. I had to really work hard at differentiating, but the proof is in the glass. Make sure you use the right one, and always go for a quality brand, versus some fancy crystal one with useless carvings and engravings. You can read about my unofficial taste test here. Meantime, 4 stars and 88 points. Great for a summer’s eve.