Blowing Up the Fruitbomb

by:

in: Drinking

The good news is that American Chardonnay producers are easing back on their use of oak. The not-so-good news is that most aren’t doing much to replace it. In the imperfect world that American Chardonnay had inhabited, all of that lush oak treatment supported an almost squalid level of fruit ripeness. Take away the oak, and you’re left with wines that are about fruit first, fruit last, fruit forever: rich, ripe, flabby, chunky, blobby fruit. In the mouth they usually have all the tension of a bowl of applesauce, and are about as interesting.

However there are a small number of producers of American Chardonnay for whom fruit is just one piece among many. With an eye to Burgundy, they’re achieving savory complexity that’s reminiscent of some of the most haunting French whites.

2007 Alma Rosa Santa Rita Hills El Jabali Vineyard Chardonnay $28
Poised, balanced, cleanly defined, this pretty cool climate chardonnay possesses high aromatic notes like a perfectly ripe pineapple, flavors offer just a hint of vanilla, the finish a pronounced lees note. Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

This Chardonnay is:
arrow
| | | |
I can’t believe it’s not butter Vanilla flavored shellac Fresh baked nutbread with herbs Tree ripened pears warming in the sun Applesauce drizzled with golden syrup

 

2006 Tandem Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay $45
Holds true to Russian River paradox of lightness and weight, bright golden pear scents marked by caramel, and a concentration of lees and minerals. Its flavors are rich but focused, it fills the mouth but doesn’t overpower. Tandem Wine Company, Sebastopol, Calif.

 

This Chardonnay is:


| | | | arrow
I can’t believe it’s not butter Vanilla flavored shellac Fresh baked nutbread with herbs Tree ripened pears warming in the sun Applesauce drizzled with golden syrup

 

2007 Evening Land Willamette Valley Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs Vineyard “Summum” Chardonnay $150
Savory, compact, terse as good Burgundy, this brilliantly focused white leads with scents of lees and golden apple, with a hint of fines herbes. Weighted but not weighty, pure and complex in texture, apple and pie-crust flavors in the finish. The Evening Land Vineyards, Carlton, Ore.

This Chardonnay is:
arrow
| | | |
I can’t believe it’s not butter Vanilla flavored shellac Fresh baked nutbread with herbs Tree ripened pears warming in the sun Applesauce drizzled with golden syrup

recommend

Email

PRINT

Comments


No comments yet.



Add a comment