Thursday, September 25, 2014

Millbrook Winery - A Special Hudson Valley, New York Wine Tasting @millbrookwinery

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Wrapping up our month long focus on the Hudson Valley wine region of New York, we enjoyed tasting two wines from Millbrook Winery, a Tocai Friulano and a Cabernet Franc.

Millbrook Winery is located in the Hudson River Valley just 1.5 hours from both New York City and Albany, New York. They have been called "the Hudson Valley's flagship winery" by The New York Times and "a great place to visit" by The Wall Street Journal. Visit any time of year for a tour and for wine tasting.

Millbrook Winery has cultivated thirty vineyard acres. Current varietals include Chardonnay (13 acres) Pinot Noir (5 acres), Cabernet Franc (7 acres), Tocai Friulano (5 acres) and Riesling (5 acres). Winemaker John Graziano has been crafting wines for Millbrook since 1984. He studied plant pathology and entomology at Cornell University. Currently, John is producing approximately 10,000 – 14,000 cases of  wine annually from estate fruit, as well as fruit from across New York and their California vineyards. He has been the only winemaker at Millbrook since its establishment.



A big thank you to Protocol Wine Studio and Debbie Gioquindo,CSW for arranging and guiding us through a wonderful introduction to Hudson Valley wines. Tasting notes and Hudson Valley wine region information follow.




Tasting Notes 2013 Tocai Fruilano:

Color: Straw, shiny clear, green highlights.
Nose: Tropical floral, mineral, white pepper, with air pear and savory.
Palate: Wow, really good. Fruity crisp with lemon, tropical fruit and lively acid on the palate. Noticed some slight effervescence with a lemony finish. Think of a city cafe with good friends and fresh seafood.
Day two: Fresh, herbal, honey, pear on nose. Expressive, lemon-honey, creamy, tropical finish. No effervescence. Would be lovely with chicken and Mediterranean food.

Thoughts: Enjoyed at home with sauteed shrimp, and broiled salmon. Day two it was a good pairing with baked herb'd chicken. This wine wants food. Recommended.

Blend: 100% Tocai Fruilano
No oak, No malolactic
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13%
SRP: $20
Production: 1060 cases
Winemaker, John Graziano
Sample provided by the winery

Note:  The Italian wine grape known as Friulano from Friuli-Venezia Giulia was known as "Tocai Friulano" until March 31, 2007 when the European Court of Justice of Luxembourg set the prohibition of using the name "Tocai" in the name of the wine (as stipulated in a 1993 agreement between the European Union and Hungary). Since 2007 Tocai Friulano is merely known as "Friulano" in Friuli and is labeled as such. It is also known as Sauvignon Vert. "The grape is believed to have originated in the Veneto region and from there traveled to other Italian regions especially to the Friuli region were it was cultivated since 1600." Source: Sauvignon vert - Wikipedia


Tasting Notes 2012 Proprietors Special Reserve Cabernet Franc: 

Color: Garnet.
Nose: Enticing, focused, candied, spicy, leather, black currant, tomato (leaf), after 50 mins petrol jelly in background. 
Palate: Smooth, creamy, dry, cherry, spice. Nose and palate more dominant, medium finish after 30 minutes. After 3.5 hours it began to show deeper flavors and aromas.
Day two: Tomato on the nose, white pepper, dry sage, olive juice and blackberry in the background. It drank dry, with cherry and blackberry in the background, tannin most noticeable on the teeth (like). Tacky dry on the tongue, with black currant into the finish. Showed well on day two with an even longer finish. Eminently drinkable.

Thoughts: Day one it paired well with broiled salmon. I would suggest pairing with red meat too, but not heavily seasoned dishes. It showed greater depth and complexity on day two. There's life in this vintage. Strongly recommended.

Blend: 95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot
Malolactic Fermentation: 100%
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13%
Winemaker, John Graziano
Production: 336 cases
SRP: $30
Sample provided by the winery

Millbrook Winery
26 Wing Road, Millbrook, NY 12545
Phone: (845) 677-8383; (800) 662-WINE
www.millbrookwine.com

Owner: John S. Dyson
General Manager: David H. Bova
Winemaker: John Graziano
Hours of Operation: Open 7 days a week, from 12:00-5:00p.m.                                      
Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day 11:00-6:00p.m.
Vineyard Grille & Café Hours: May 28 through October 12:00-5:00 p.m. Weekends Only
Vineyard Express Shuttle Service: June 1 - October 27/ Weekends Only
CLOSED: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day

Hudson Valley Wine Resources:
Last month on #winestudio we discussed and tasted the Hudson Valley wine region of New York. We began our tasting of Hudson Valley wines with the Whitecliff 2013 White Rose, a white wine composed of 75% Traminette and 25% Gewurztraminer, All Estate Grown fruit. The following week we tasted a 100% sparkling Chardonnay from Americas oldest winery, the Brotherhood Winery NV Brut Sparkling Chardonnay. Ending our tasting visit with the two lovely wines from Millbrook Winery helped reinforce the impression of quality and terroir from the Hudson Valley wine region. An educational and tasty experience.

New York Wine Regions.

The Hudson Valley Region

Beginning just one hour north of New York City, the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine region in the United States. French Huguenots planted the first vines in New Paltz (Ulster county) in 1677. The first winery was established in 1837 because of the need for sacramental wine. The Hudson Valley has a shorter growing season of 180 to 195 days compared to the Finger Lakes wine region with 190 to 205 days. Wineries in this region tend to be family owned, farm wineries. Today there are 25 wineries in the Hudson Valley.

"The Hudson River Region AVA is the oldest continually-productive wine region in the United States.  Though most people refer to this wine region as the Hudson River Valley or the Hudson Valley, on July 6, 1982 the BATF—in its wisdom—granted the AVA but chose to call it by another name in order to avoid confusion with a winery that already bore the name, Hudson River Valley Winery (no longer in production)." Source: Wine, Seriously "Viniculture in the Hudson River Region-background"

Growing wine regions need your help. I encourage you to visit local wineries and to buy from small producers. All 50 states produce wine. When you are traveling, seek out the local producers and give them a taste. You could be surprised and impressed by the quality you discover. Add the Hudson Valley wine region to your must visit list and taste some delicious New York wines.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lucille by Stottle Winery 2012 Late Harvest Viognier @StottleWinery

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A Season for Sweet Lucille. 

This time of year the sun sets earlier and earlier. Temperatures are gradually dropping and that bit of early fall is slowly shifting my mindset to thoughts of comfort foods and beverages. Enter Lucille by Stottle Winery. Lucille is a late harvest Viognier.

A well crafted dessert wine, Lucille is sweet but balanced with appropriate acidity, so the sweetness does not dominate this wine. If you are already thinking of holiday plans and meals, Lucille would be wonderful served after dinner and by the fireplace or fire pit. It was a delight enjoying this wine at sunset after home cooked meals. Thank you Amy and Josh.

Tasting notes:

Color: Pale silver-gold.
Nose: Honey, stone fruit, fresh minerality.
Palate: Medium-sweet, resin, honey, apricot, nectarine, fluid mid-palate, gentle tart. Palate cleansing.

Thoughts: Not heavy, refreshing. Balanced sugar and acidity. As it warmed it seemed sweeter with fig. I think it would be a good palate cleanser for a multi-course dinner; best after heavy, fatty food. I would pair Lucille with Crème brûléee and an espresso. Strongly Recommended.


Blend: 100% Viognier
AVA: Yakima Valley
ABV: 13.1%
RS: 5%
SRP: $20
Sample provided by winery
www.stottlewinery.com


Stottle Winery (Lacey)
2641 Willamette Dr NE
Suite C
Lacey, WA 98516
Tasting Hours: Monday & Tuesday : By appointment only.
Wednesday – Sunday : 12pm – 6pm
Ph: 360-515-0356
Fax: 360-515-0364

Hoodsport Tasting Room 
24180 Highway 101
Suite B
Hoodsport, WA 98548
Fall Hours: Friday - Sunday : 11am - 5pm
Ph: 360-877-2247

Stottle Winery was founded by Amy and Josh Stottlemyer. Winemaker Josh Stottlemyer is the force behind the wines of Stottle Winery. After selling his web development and internet marketing firm he took his passion for wine to the Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle. Where he completed their 2 year winemaking program. Josh also holds a bachelors of science from the University of Minnesota where he studied chemical engineering and geology. Stottle Winery and main tasting room is located in Lacey, Washington just off I-5 and north of the state capital, Olympia.

Related posts:

Cheers!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wine of the Week: Valdo Rose' Brut Vino Spumante Marca Oro - Italy @pasternakwine

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The Delight of Valdo Time!

Who doesn't like bubbles in their wine? There are many styles of sparkling wine made around the world. Myself, I like them all, but there are wines with bubbles which deliver more than casual amusement and refreshment. This pretty Rose' from Valdo surprised me with its depth of character and delivered satisfaction. It is deserving of a Wine of the Week.

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling dry wine made primarily from Glera grapes. Principally grown in the Prosecco region of Italy, which includes Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, north of Venice in the Vento region. Under European law, only sparkling wines made with grapes grown in this region can have the name Prosecco.

This bottle is labeled "Vino Spumante." Spumante is typically a sweet bubbly wine, this is not that wine.

The Scuola Spumanti Valdo (Valdo School of Sparkling Wines) is a result of Valdo’s knowledge of the territory and ongoing oenological and technological research. In this case, "Vino Spumante" referrers to "Sparkling Wine." This style of wine is characterized by a refined perlage (bubbles) that enhances the bouquet and its delicate fragrance.


Tasting Notes Valdo Rose' Brut Vino Spumante Marca Oro

Color: Dramatic, pale strawberry sunset. Plentiful bubbles in the glass.
Nose: Strawberry crème, delicate yeast, biscotti.
Palate: Dry strawberry, pomegranate, vanilla crème, citrus spritz. Mouth filling, tiny, foamy bubbles. Medium dry, fruity, slate on the finish. Big like. Impressed.

Thoughts: Came on Pretty and tasty, showy with a memorable serious finish. The way I like it. Searched online and found prices for this wine between $10 and $15. A true bargain in my opinion. As pretty as this wine looks, it is also one of the more serious affordable sparklers. Buy it when you see it. Pair with just about anything. Strongly Recommended.

Grape Varieties:  Nerello Mascalese, Glera
ABV: 12%
Price: $10 - $15
Imported by Pasternak Wine Imports
Sample provided by Pasternak Wine Imports

VALDO Spumanti Srl
via Foro Boario 20
31049 Valdobbiadene (TV)
Italy


THE VINEYARD
Valdo’s Philosophy: “Prosecco” is the distinguishing factor on the regional level- refined aromas, balance and overall quality are the key features Valdo focuses on. 

Valdo was started in 1926 by the Societa Anonima Vini Superiori & purchased by The Bolla Family in the 1940’s. Over 80 years of continuous innovation with an ongoing quest for quality and devotion to respecting the vineyards & wine-making traditions of the region.

This Rosé is created from the blend of two typical Italian vines, the Sicilian black berry Nerello Mascalese, from Sambuca Sicily in the province of Argiento which is 984 feet above sea level, and Glera, the fruity grapes from the Veneto region in the province of Treviso at 262 feet above sea level.  The vineyard that grows the Nerello Mascalese has clay and limestone soil and the Glera vineyard is alluvial clay. 

HARVEST & AGEING
Harvest takes place during the end of August and the first half of September.  After the grapes are selected there is a soft pressing of red grapes which are not left in contact with the skins for maceration. The wine goes through the Charmat method for 3 months in steel tanks.

Related post: Celebrate the New Year with Bubbles!

Enjoy your bubbles!

Cheers!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Podcast: WineMuse an Evening of Chardonnay Artistry and Genius

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Did Chardonnay ever go out of style?

Regular readers and listeners, know that Linda Reznicek and I host a monthly wine podcast we call "WineMuse World Tour." This year we have been tasting and reviewing wine from different regions around the world. After recording one of our shows, Linda and I began casually discussing the topic of Chardonnay. She asked me, "Why did Chardonnay go out of favor, or did it? What makes a GREAT Chardonnay?" I agreed it was a good topic and one worth pursuing.

Linda arranged interviews with two famous California Chardonnay producers, and procured samples, she also scheduled interviews with two Washington winemakers I recommended.

We have posted our featured #WineMuse podcast show where we explore the up and down trajectory of the world's favorite varietal, Chardonnay, through the words of great Chardonnay winemakers in Napa Valley and Washington state. This was a fun and inspirational show featuring the expertise of truly talented winemakers. I invite you to listen to our podcast as we share an evening of Chardonnay and Chardonnay artistry and genius.

Chateau Montelena 2012 Chardonnay.

Chateau Montelena: They won the the white wine competition at the famous "Judgement of Paris;" their winemaker Matt Crafton will share the philosophy behind their great Chardonnay.
Read the Wild4WashingtonWine review of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.

Bouchaine 2011 Estate Chardonnay.

Bouchaine Vineyards: A 40 year pioneer in the California wine industry, Michael Richmond founded Acacia Wines in the Carneros district of Napa Valley and now makes wine for Bouchaine. He brings the history and his love of wine education, experience, and adventure.
Read the Wild4WashingtonWine review of Bouchaine Napa Valley Chardonnay.

Winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla on bottling day.

Forgeron Cellars: Winemaker and managing partner Marie-Eve Gilla was trained in the Burgundy region of France and understands the long tradition of great Chardonnay craftsmanship.
Read the Wild4WashingtonWine review of Forgeron Cellars 2010 Chardonnay.

Winemaker Kerry Shiels in family vineyard.

Cote Bonneville: Kerry Shiels' Chardonnays are hailed as some of the best, regularly garnering 94's by the major wine magazines.  She brings her lifelong experience and intimacy with the fruit to winemaking.

Join us for an evening of Chardonnay and Chardonnay artistry and genius

Cheers!

Brotherhood Winery NV Brut Sparkling Chardonnay, Hudson Valley @brotherhoodwine

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A kissing wine from Americas oldest winery!

How long has wine been made at Brotherhood Winery? Martin Van Buren, a Hudson Valley resident, was president when Brotherhood made their first vintage.

Established in 1839, Brotherhood winery has been in continuous operation for 175 years. Brotherhood winery has changed hands several times, languished, suffered from fire, went through a period of recovery and is once again producing premium wine in the Hudson Valley.

History of the Winery

In 1810, *French Huguenot emigre Jean Jaques purchased land in New York’s agrarian Hudson Valley and began planting grapes. By 1837, Mr. Jaques needed more land, so he purchased a plot in the quiet village of Washingtonville, NY, and planted another vineyard. By 1839, his first underground cellars were dug and Mr. Jaques fermented his first vintage. Those cellars, the oldest and largest in America, are still in use today at Brotherhood Winery.

~.~


* 9/12/14 Note Regarding Jean Jaques: It was brought to my attention (9/11/14) that there is some confusion regarding the history of Brotherhood Winery and Jean Jaques specifically. Author Robert Bedford has addressed these issues in his recently released book, The Story of Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery.

“Through the photos, documents, and writings in this book we can place Brotherhood not only in the context of American viticulture and the country’s ever-changing tastes in wines, but also in the broader landscape of American history. We can also look ahead, to what it means to preserve and restore this rich history, and what it will forecast for the next centuries to come.”  The Story of Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery by Robert Bedford – from the Foreword by Adam Strum, Editor and Publisher, Wine Enthusiast Magazine. You can add this book to your suggested reading list. William Pollard Jr. 9/12/14.


~.~

The Jaques family made wine at the Washingtonville facility for almost 60 years, selling much of it to Jesse and Edward Emerson, two New York City wine merchants. The Emersons, Finger Lakes vinters themselves, understood the high quality of Mr. Jaques’ wine and used it to improve a blend of wine from an organization called The Brotherhood of New Life - an experiment in Utopian communal living in the Hudson Valley. When the Emerson family took control of the Washingtonville winery, they renamed it Brotherhood, a name that it still proudly bears today.

Price list from the 1800's via @hvwinegoddess

The Emerson family operated Brotherhood until Prohibition. In 1921, Louis Farrell purchased the winery and its large stock of sacramental wine. He sold wine for religious ceremonies throughout Prohibition, which was finally repealed in 1933. Louis and his wife were the first to grasp the value of Brotherhood’s location, as the nearest winery to New York City. They began conducting tours of the winery, highlighting the now-enlarged underground cellars, the history of the facility and its picturesque site. It’s not just Euro grapes at Brotherhood, they also work with American varietals including Concord and Niagara. The biggest change at the winery was when Vitis Vinifera was added to production in 1987.

After a disastrous fire in 1999, Brotherhood’s fortunes suffered until 2005, when Mr. Cesar Baeza formed a new partnership with two wine making families from Chile. The Castro and Chadwick families have deep roots in the famous wine growing areas of the Maule Valley, near San Clemente, where they farm hundreds of acres of Vinifera grapes, along with other fruit.

The new Board of Directors has embarked on a massive restoration and renovation program at Brotherhood that includes, equipment upgrades, vineyard acquisitions, the planting of new vines and a facility remodeling, emphasizing a commitment to quality. The Brotherhood Riesling is among many customer favorites and is featured on the White House Wine List. Pinot Noir is their second best seller. Bob Barrow has been working as Brotherhood’s winemaker for over ten years.

A generous pour of Brotherhood Sparkling Chardonnay, Hudson Valley, New York.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Pale straw.
Nose: White peach, cinnamon spice, fresh with mineral-honey.
Palate: Myriad of tiny, soft, whispery bubbles, subtle yeast, green apple, melon, creamy front palate, dry finish with pear juice. A kissing wine which will compliment romantic occasions or create an unexpected interlude.

Thoughts: A thoroughly delightful sparkling Chardonnay from America's oldest winery. It pleased the tongue and stirred romantic feelings. Serve before, during or after meals. An amazing value at $12 and worthy of celebratory occasions or just because. Strongly Recommended.

Brotherhood Sparkling NV B is produced using the charmat method.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
ABV: 12%
SRP: $11.99
RS: 3g/L
Production: 1,250 cases
Winemaker Bob Barrow
Sample provided by the winery

Brotherhood Winery
100 Brotherhood Plaza Drive
Washingtonville, NY 10992
www.brotherhood-winery.com

Hudson Valley Wine Resources:

Last month on #winestudio we discussed and tasted the Hudson Valley wine region of New York. "The Hudson River Region AVA is the oldest continually-productive wine region in the United States.  Though most people refer to this wine region as the Hudson River Valley or the Hudson Valley, on July 6, 1982 the BATF—in its wisdom—granted the AVA but chose to call it by another name in order to avoid confusion with a winery that already bore the name, Hudson River Valley Winery (no longer in production)." Source: Wine, Seriously "Viniculture in the Hudson River Region-background"

Map New York wine regions.

The Hudson Valley Region

Beginning just one hour north of New York City, the Hudson Valley is the oldest wine region in the United States. French Huguenots planted the first vines in New Paltz (Ulster county) in 1677. The first winery was established in 1837 because of the need for sacramental wine. The Hudson Valley has a shorter growing season of 180 to 195 days compared to the Finger Lakes wine region with 190 to 205 days. Wineries in this region tend to be family owned, farm wineries. Today there are 25 wineries in the Hudson Valley.


A big thank you to Protocol Wine Studio and Debbie Gioquindo,CSW for arranging and guiding us through a wonderful introduction to Hudson Valley wines.

Growing wine regions need your help. I encourage you to visit local wineries and to buy from small producers. All 50 states produce wine. When you are traveling, seek out the local producers and give them a taste. You could be surprised and impressed by the quality you discover. Add Brotherhood Winery to your must visit list and taste a little history.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wine of the Week: Gordon Estate 2010 Merlot - ColumbiaValley @GordonEstate

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Can you fall in love with a wine?
A wine worth pondering.

Gordon Estate is located in the heart of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. They are the oldest estate winery in Washington State and use only estate-grown grapes in making their hand-crafted Washington wines.

In 1980, Jeff Gordon, along with his wife, Vicki and brother Bill decided to plant wine grapes on a sagebrush-covered slope overlooking the Snake River in southeastern Washington’s Columbia Valley. In 1985, he released his first small lot of Chardonnay wine produced from their estate vines.

Gordon Estate, previously known as "Gordon Brothers," has been served at my table for over 25 years. I encourage you to discover the wines of Gordon Estate. A true Washington original.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dark garnet to plum.
Nose: Spicy with cumin, black currant, licorice, gingerbread, cherry cordial, complex with a lot going on, background with hints of savory vegetal and dark chocolate. Layered.
Palate: Creamy, silky mouth feel, lovely grip on tongue and gums, delicious dark fruit, cherry cordial, black currant, dark chocolate, edged with tar and rich soil, mouth filling sexy long finish. Can you fall in love with a wine?

Day two: Earthy berry, vegetal background, candied black currant, black licorice, super sexy nose. Bright, smooth, berry, dark chocolate, coffee, dry, tannin most present on the tongue. 

Thoughts: Ready to go at opening, expansive after an hour. Lovely estate grown fruit made this a truly delicious locally produced Washington wine. Killer wine, especially since 2010 was a cool vintage. Well done Gordon Estate. Well done. Strongly Recommended.



Blend: 93% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.9%
SRP: $19.99
Paid: $14.59
Production: 3,800 cases

Web: http://www.gordonwines.com

Visit the Gordon Estate Wine Bar
Broadmoor Park, 5236 Outlet Drive, Pasco, WA 99301
Monday – Thursday 11AM-10PM, Friday – Saturday 11AM-11PM, Sunday 11AM-9PM
HAPPY HOUR: Monday – Saturday from 3-6 PM, ALL DAY Sunday.
LADIES’ NIGHT: Every Thursday! Featuring wine cocktails for the ladies from 3-8 PM.
Contact: (509) 547-6331 ext. 112, winebar@gordonwines.com

Related Posts



Cheers!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Reviewed: Bouchaine Chardonnay Napa Valley - Carneros @BouchaineWines

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A showcase of elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay. 


"The uncertainty of life is there in front of you in the glass." 
- Michael Richmond, winemaker Bouchaine Vineyards

On a featured #WineMuse podcast show Linda Reznicek and yours truly, have explored the up and down trajectory of the world's favorite varietal, Chardonnay, through the words of great Chardonnay winemakers in Napa Valley and Washington state.

A highlight of our focus on Chardonnay was an interview with winemaker Michael Richmond and a special tasting of three memorable bottles of Bouchaine Vineyards Chardonnay. I invite you to listen to our podcast as we share an evening of Chardonnay and Chardonnay artistry and genius.

Bouchaine Vineyards is a 40 year pioneer in the California wine industry, Michael Richmond founded Acacia Wines in the Carneros district of Napa Valley and now makes wine for Bouchaine. He brings the history and his love of wine education, experience, and adventure.

Tasting notes follow: 



Bouchaine 2011 Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Estate Vineyard
"Drank elegantly restrained"

Color: Gold.
Nose: Mineral fresh, golden, pear juice, river rock, brioche, melon, lemon, nuttiness.
Palate: Refreshing, lively on the tongue, essence of stone fruit, lemon cream echo, restrained and appealing. Very fine after a hot summer hike. Fabulous lunch wine.
After 30 mins, a little more viscosity, spiced pear, lemon brioche, honeydew melon, lemony finish. Everything good about Chardonnay.
After an hour, nose of sweet melon, summer rain, spicy pear. Drank elegantly restrained, fruit focused to the front, modest pear, vanilla, melon, friendly acid top palate and tip of tongue.
After 4.5 hours, aromatic, creamy bright, pear melon, a little spice, tingle down the middle of the tongue.

Day two: Spicy, melon, pear, ginger, nutty, classic Chardonnay profile. Stimulated appetite. Begging food. Craved crab.

Thoughts: Chill wine. Kick off your shoes, put on your fave tunes, and enjoy a glass of Bouchaine Chardonnay. Pair with lighter fare, humus, vegetables, melon, chilled noodles. Recommended.

Certified Sustainable
Blending of stainless and oak aged Chardonnay
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $30
Sample provided by the winery


Bouchaine Bacchus Collection Chene D'Argent Estate 2011 Chardonnay
"Impressive out of the gate."

Color: Straw.
Nose: Heady, yeasty, dry pear, cool slate, vanilla, melon, herbal breeze. An ocean scent after 20 minutes. Seductive.
Palate: Vanilla, kiwi, pineapple, lemon, melon, fantastic savory edge, wow on the fruit! Juicy, balanced, nice weight, lively, focused. Impressive out of the gate. Creamy mineral finish as it warmed, with lemon French kiss. Chills.
At 30 minutes, dry, almost steely, tropical leanings, zingy finish.

Thoughts: Not what I expected. Food not required, but would be tasty with anything benefiting from lemon. Big like and my style of wine. Strongly recommended.

Fermented in stainless - no malolactic
ABV: 13%
Closure: Natural cork
Production: 250 cases
SRP: $30
Sample provided by winery


Bouchaine Bacchus 2011 Bouche de Beurre Estate Chardonnay
"Thoughts of intimate kisses and ear nibbling occupied my mind"

Color: Bright yellow gold.
Nose: Yeast, pear, oak, river rock, with air it was spicy and captivating.
Palate: Smooth, rich, delicious with inviting texture, dry pear, edged with crisp lime and kiwi. With air, it was restrained, creamy lusciousness. Fantastic with grilled dog and kraut lunch.
After an hour, lively, more citrus, satisfying finish. Just opening up.
After six hours, vanilla, lemon blossom, cream, brioche nose. Creamy, expansive on the tongue, fluid, intimate acidity along the gum line, pear, lychee.

Thoughts: Drink me now. Thoughts of intimate kisses and ear nibbling occupied my mind. Date or make out wine at the six hour point. Strongly Recommended.

Fermented in oak with malolactic fermentation
Closure: Natural cork
ABV:13.5%
SRP: $50
Sample provided by the winery
www.bouchaine.com

*Note: The Bacchus Collection is intended primarily for wine club members. They make many wines exclusively for their wine club. Worth checking out.

Big thank you to Michael Richmond and Bouchaine Vineyards. I invite you to listen to the interview with Michael Richmond - he's an inspirational winemaker and he shared his philosophy on winemaking with us, The Rise, FALL, and Rise of Chardonnay In the Words of the Winemakers.

Cheers!