This Finger Lakes Chardonnay is a very pale shade of lemon in the glass. The nose is an explosion of aromas- lemon, grapefruit, tangerine spritz, candle wax, honeysuckle and orange blossom. It is very clean and precise. The palate is dry with bracing acidity and tons of citrus and floral notes. The focus is on lemon and tangerine but I also get a hint of green apple and quince. The cutting acidity is very refreshing so is the lack of any Malolactic fermentation. This Chardonnay is made in a much leaner style than some of the flabby, buttery ones from out West. Medium to full bodied, it has great structure and balance that leads to a medium length finish. I drank it at the winery and reviewed it very casually- giving it 91 points which is the same figure here. $35 makes it a 4 star wine that I will be pairing Salmon with. Drink over the next few years with seafood or white meat. You can read my write-up at https://caspernick.com/2022/01/15/dr-konstantin-frank-winery-tasting/ Salut….
Our final stop on the Finger Lakes wine adventure was this picturesque hillside winery on the shore s of Keuka Lake. We planned our arrival for 4 pm which gave us enough time for the drive from PA, which included a pit stop for a COVID test, a three hour drive to make our 1 pm Wiemar winery tasting, some lunch and then the 45 minute hop to the this lake. We finished just after 5 pm and ended up in the town of Geneva for the night. Everything worked out as planned! Salut….
Hilda Chardonnay 2020-
Pale lemon in the glasss. Crisp citrusy notes. Lemon zest, green apple, clean, waxy, round mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Medium (+) acidity, linear and focused, not flabby. Long finish. 91 points and at $35 it gets 4 stars.
Old Vines Pinot Noir 2019-
Pale garnet as expected from this varietal. Pronounced aromas of stewed strawberry, cherry compote, vanilla bean, straw, baking spice, Orange peel. Palate is light and breezy with cooked red fruit, spices, super lithe tannins, gentle acidity, light body and medium finish. 89 points and for $25 it is worthy of 3 stars.
Cabernet Franc 2019-
Medium opacity ruby. Spicy nose of white pepper, violets, black currants, capsicum, perfumed flower blossoms. A blunt opening that has a tannic grip and medium acidity. The spice and dark fruit finally show up with some bell pepper greeness. Quite vegetal. 87 points. Drink soon. $25, 2 stars.
Deep purple color. Smoke, coffee, blueberry pie, blackberry coulis. Dry palate with smoky coffee goodness. Medium (-) tannins, medium acidity, mid weight body and a decent length finish. The tannins are more present on the back end but are still very smooth. 88 points, till 2024. $30 makes this a 2 star effort.
No idea what it’s supposed to taste like.
Deep ruby, port like nose with spice box and clove notes. A hint of greeness with asparagus and iron. Unique flavors- very spicy, somewhat green with rhubarb, charred wood and kirsch alongside gentle tannins, juicy acidity, medium body, decent finish. 89 points for this $30 wine makes it 3 stars.
Margrit Dry Riesling 2019-
Pale lemon with aromas and flavors of lemon cordial, honeysuckle, blossom, toast. Crisp palate with juicy acidity, citrus fruit, florals and 90 points for this $35 wine makes it a 3 star effort.
I am experimenting tonight with sous vide Salmon. Never cooked it this way before and I’m finishing it with a cilantro and garlic butter so I needed a full bodied, rich white. Orin Swift makes delicious reds which are powerful, extracted and definitely high on the alcohol side of things so I figured I would give their white a try. It is a deep gold color in the glass and shows a watery sheen on the sides which does not indicate a thing about the monster 15% ABV which I noticed on the label. The nose has pronounced lemon and lime aromas alongside hazelnuts, green apple, cut grass (strange aroma for this varietal), a touch of toast and butter. The palate is classic west coast Chard. Buttery, rich, full bodied, citrusy with a hint of that chardonnay yeastiness aka bakers spice. The acidity is on the lower end of the spectrum but the wine is definitely bold, with big fruit flavors and plenty of mouthfeel. The finish is decent in length and the malolactic notes (toast, butter, brioche) really feature on the back end. This wine is 5 years old and is drinking nicely now but will potentially cellar till 2027. I think the pairing will work nicely as would roast game hens, Paella or Gumbo. $32 gets you a bottle of this 91 point wine. 5 stars but beware the well hidden alcohol, it will sneak up! Salut….
This Burgundian Chardonnay has an interesting color, it’s almost peach-like and quite deep. The nose is quite fruity and floral with lemon, lime, geranium, pineapple and persimmon. A nutty component akin to hazelnuts hits as well. On the palate it is crisp and refreshing. The fruit flavors are more tropical than citrus driven with pineapple and melon dominating. The nuttiness remains albeit nuanced. The acidity is en pointe with this wine, you barely notice it unless you start to wonder about it. The wine is mid-weight and has a long finish with layers of tropical fruit interwoven with some minerality and citrus notes. It begs for a Cobb salad or some steamed shellfish. I am enjoying it chilled and think it will drink well for another few years. 89 points from me for this $30 wine make it a 3 star effort. Salut….
This Chardonnay has got a bit of bottle age which shows in the glass- a deep gold color. On the nose I get wafts of MLF, perhaps a bit of lees stirring and some relatively fresh citrus and floral notes. Brioche, butter, lemon curd, grapefruit, chamomile and sprite (the drink). The palate is dry with medium body and juicy acidity. The flavors are more citrus driven but I do get some minerality and a hint of Malolactic Fermentation. Tropical fruit notes hit the mid plate and the finish is long and silky with decent acidity. I like this wine, but it’s not everyone’s style. The silky mouthfeel comes with butter-like flavors that may not be up everyone’s alley. The minimalist oak usage is appreciated btw. For $20, it’s a good weekday wine that gets 90 points from me and 5 stars. Drink till 2026 with some hearty fish dishes or stuffed peppers. Salut….
I attended a practice blind tasting last night for the WSET Level 3 exam. One of the wines we drank was this Chardonnay. It was obvious from the first whiff that this was a Cali doozy. I wrote that the wine was a medium shade of lemon and had a medium (+) intensity nose of……. toast, butter, bread, acacia, melon and banana, I found it youthful. Read those descriptors again. There is no mention of citrus or stone. The palate was much the same in flavors with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and was obviously dry in nature. This is a developing wine with plenty of potential to age. I thought it was good to outstanding and would think it gets 92 points. At $60 a pop, this highly rated (94-95 by the pros) wine gets 5 stars.
My initial reaction to smelling this wine was that it had been worked over pretty hard. When I say that, I mean it went through Malolactic Conversion/Fermentation and I even thought it had been treated Sur Lie. I was right. The winery notes mention both processes and explain why it was sooo buttery, with heavy doses of bread, toast etc. It’s not my style of wine, but I took the half bottle home to revisit it. Paired with a rice and chicken dish it did okay, but the overpowering tertiary notes are really not up my alley. If you like a rich, full-on Napa/Sonoma Chardonnay with gobs of upfront tertiary notes, go for it. At least try it once. Drink till 2030. Salut….
As summer comes to a close I am looking forward to some hearty reds yet still have a few chilled whites to taste- here goes as we are having sushi tonight and this Chablis might just fit the bill.
It’s a medium intensity lemon color with a nice citrus nose compounded with pineapple, blossom and wet stone- it’s a steely affair as expected from this region. The palate is crispy with juicy acidity. This Burgundian Chardonnay is a dry wine that has a good body and quite pronounced flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit and pineapple. The stony, mineral component is most definitely apparent on the mid palate and the wine finishes with good length. I like the floral notes throughout and nearly wince at the acidity- it’s very crisp and tangy. A perfect match for seafood, especially a Mackerel sushi. I am thinking it is a 91 point wine and at a retail price of $65, it’s a rather steep but delicious white to enjoy till 2028. 4 stars from me, Salut….
Medium gold color. Pronounced aromas of lemon, lime, apricot, biscuit and bread. The palate is dry with citrus and floral flavors plus more of that bakery hint and some nice toasty oak notes. Medium acidity keeps the wine fresh and the finish is medium in length. There’s a flavor that most Chardonnay’s have that I get on the back end, I’m not a huge fan but it is to be expected. Overall a very nice tipple on a hot summer evening that gets 91 points from me. I’m pairing it with grilled chicken, rice pilaf and Marsala sauce. Drink till 2025. I think you can find it for around $20, pretty reasonable and worthy of 5 stars. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Deep lemon color with a nose of tangerine, lemons, popcorn and acacia. The palate is bright and very citrusy, yet the butter component is missing. I’m confused. Green apple, baked bread and pear are playing second fiddle to lemon and tangerine. It’s evident that Malolactic fermentation has been blocked, keeping the fruit vibrant and fresh. Oak influence is also evident, albeit deft. The wine has medium acidity and is quite full bodied. On the finish I get a nuttiness- like stone fruit seed. Yummy stuff that gets 92 points. This is an iconic wine that merits a try, even though it rolls in at $50. 5 stars from me. Pair with seafood, perhaps even some stuffed, baked mushrooms. Salut….
I was looking for a steely Chardonnay to pair with Pork Tomahawk ribs, this Chablis happened to be on sale so I thought I was on to a winner….. It was tasty, sure, but not exactly what I was hoping for. It runs a pale gold in the glass with big legs. On the nose it is not very pronounced. I get lemon, quince, green apple, pineapple, passion fruit and iodine. The palate is slightly more intense, dry and quite acidic. I was looking forward to that part- the cut. Unfortunately the wine was actually a bit too big-bodied for my needs. It lacked the flinty minerality and only offered a touch of saline. The alcohol was evident BTW. If you want an un-oaked Chardy that is actually very tasty, this one can be had for $25. It gets 88 points from me with a drink now rec. 3 stars. Salut….