Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chalone Estate Chardonnay

Chalone Vineyard

Estate Grown
Monterey County
Soledad, California, USA

$20.00 -- Grapevine Market, Austin, TX

Color: Pale straw
Nose: Baked peach, biscotti
Body: Full
Front: Apricot, banana
Middle: Salmon, gravel
Back: Peach, graham crackers, bread and butter
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

It's another frigid night in the south--well, most places in North America, I'd guess. There is some minor celebrating going on around the house, so this will be a wine-intense evening. First, a California white in a burgundian style, then an honest-to-Allah Burgundy pinot. In between, fondue and salad with radishes, mushrooms, and other wintery sorts of substances.

This wine has a really interesting nose, which I've only inadequately described above. There's a tinge of heat in the nose, too, but I think that with a little time that will fade and it will get both more fruity and more herby. The palate develops for a long time, and is nicely balanced. The oak comes in at the very end, and fades in really delightfully, to my taste. I'll certainly get more of this wine.

Note: Impressive: It's three days later, and this wine has probably been open for seven hours or more, and then corked for three days in the fridge. It's astonishingly rich, buttery, spicy, even still has a smidgen of acidic peariness or apricot involved. Bread pudding, really.  This will age. If you usually take two or three days to drink a bottle, this is a colossal bargain.