25 May 2010
Spokane’s Barrister Winery has released four new wines for 2010. These new releases are a showcase for why Barrister is getting worldwide attention for their consistency of quality, character, structure, and flavor. When co-owner and co-winemaker Greg Lipsker asked if I was interested in previewing the new releases, I had to calm myself before answering with a resounding YES! Greg and Mike are responsible for some of my favorite wines. Their Rough Justice blend was my January wine of the month.
Barrister is located in an historic 100 year old building in Spokane’s downtown core (Railroad Ave, west of Jefferson). The 25,000 square foot facility houses production, a large single stack barrel room, storage, and an expansive tasting room and event facility. Barrister offers a unique space to host your wedding, reception, corporate event, or special family dinner. Barrister is also the best stop on the First Friday Art Walk in Spokane. Check out my previous video tour of the facility and interview with Greg.
The key to Barrister wines is good fruit, patience and attention to specifics. The wines reviewed below are from some of Washington’s most prestigious vineyards, Sagemoor, Weinbau, Dwelly, Kiona and Koinonia. As you’ll note in the video, Greg and Mike take a vintage by vintage approach to their wine making, adjusting blends and barrel routines as appropriate to showcase the fruit. Their attention to detail shows in the finished product.
2009 Barrister Winery Riesling
- The Stuff: 100% Riesling from Koinonia Vineyards, 0% residual sugar, .8% acidity, 14.1%abv, 136 cases produced
- The Swirl: Light and nearly clear in color, thin viscosity, clean and clear
- The Sniff: Floral aromas of white flowers, pears, and perfume. The nose offers a tight bouquet but is still elegant and fresh.
- The Sip: In agreement with Greg, this wine is summertime on the lips. A bone dry presentation that allows the crisp fruit to be front and center. Your mouth is greeting with a kiss of pear and wet stone and says goodbye with a well balanced acidity. The wine is not tart and in spite of being bone dry, doesn’t leave you feeling parched.
- The Score: At only $17, this is one of the most refreshing and well balanced Rieslings that I have discovered. With only 136 cases made, you won’t want to delay to get yours for the upcoming summer season. Drink now or store for 3-5 years. I score this wine a 4 (out of 5).
The 2009 Barrister Winery Riesling is a superb value and an amazing demonstration of Riesling fruit from Koinonia Vineyards. The bone dry finish leaves you longing for more without a tartness that leaves you parched. Pair this wine with summer, grilled vegetables, shrimp salad, light pasta, and fruit. DrinkNectar highly recommends this wine.
2008 Barrister Winery Sangiovese
- The Stuff: 100% Sangiovese from Kiona Estate Vineyards. Aged 15 months in used French oak, 14.5%abv, 149 cases produced
- The Swirl: Deep burgundy color that is 60% opaque and mellows out to bright ruby tones on the edges.
- The Sniff: An amazing presentation of big bright cherries, spice, vanilla, and hints of cinnamon.
- The Sip: Hold on Antonio, this is not your father’s Italian Chianti / Sangio. This medium bodied wine is a showcase of the hot weather from Red Mountain that produces amazingly bold fruit. In this limited tasting there was all bright cherries and hints of toast. A nice firm tannin and lingering tart finish rounded out the beautiful wine. Not representative of the variety, but made in a strong new world fashion.
- The Score: Loving the presentation of fruit and big finish, this $25 wine scores a solid 3+ (out of 5).
2007 Barrister Winery Merlot
- The Stuff: 86% Merlot from Dwelly Vineyards and 9% Cab Franc, 5% Cab Sauv; 14.8%abv, 271 cases produced
- The Swirl: Elegant bright plum colors that are about 70% opaque. Spectacular color structure that suggests quality and high extraction
- The Sniff: A Merlot worthy of putting Miles (from the movie Sideways) in his place. Fantastic aroma of smooth cocoa and berry – imagine cherry cocoa puffs with a hint of pipe tobacco smoke.
- The Sip: The very front palate of this wine is a semi-sweet medium cherry flavor that presents hints of baking cocoa on the mid-palate. A bright hint of blueberry jumps out at the back end as you begin to swallow the wine. A surprisingly strong and well structured finish complete this well crafted Merlot.
- The Score: At $25 this Merlot can compete among the ranks of wines twice the price. I score this a 4+ (out of 5) and put it up there with the top 3 Merlot I’ve had in 2010.
The 2007 Barrister Winery Merlot is a showcase of what Merlot can be. With smooth elegant cherry and cocoa flavors the addition of Cab Franc and Cab Sauv bring to light a bright blueberry spark and a strong finish. This wine could be a casual sipping wine and would stand up well to grilled burgers, BBQ ribs, and a mild red pasta dish. DrinkNectar highly recommends this wine as one of the top Merlots of the year.
2007 Barrister Winery Sagemoor Cabernet Sauvignon
- The Stuff: 75% Cabernet from Sagemoor Vineyards in Walla Walla, 15% Merlot and 10% Syrah also from Sagemoor Vineyards; aged 20+ months in 75% French and 25% American oak; 15.2%abv, 210 cases produced.
- The Swirl: Thick and inky with stormy night characteristics. The wine is about 90-95% opaque and is nearly black at the middle of the glass
- The Sniff: An aroma of blackberry and plum saturates the nose. A slight alcohol heat with spice accompaniment throws off the aroma profile only slightly.
- The Sip: The wine has bottle aged well and despites its youth of 3 years, is a fairly smooth offering for a big Cab (probably softened by the addition of Merlot). Big dark spicy cherries showcase the flavors with undercurrents of red raspberry and dark chocolate. Slight hints of oak, but very subtle. The finish lingers for quite some time, but presents a little burn on the swallow.
- The Score: A beautiful wine that will resonate with big Cab lovers. The high alcohol is the only moderately off-putting part of this wine. Avoid pairing this with spicy dishes which will compound the heat. At $33 I score this wine a 4 (out of 5).
24 May 2010
Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility. Legend tells us that Dionysus was the only Greek god born of a mortal parent, Semele. Known for his dual personality, Dionysus could bring erotic passion and happiness along with rage and madness. During his wandering, Dionysus taught people across the regions how to cultivate wine. It’s curious or coincidence that even 6000 years ago in the mythology of the Greeks, wine was a significant part of Mount Olympus.
Wine in Greece dates back to 4500 BC and is considered to be the second oldest wine production in the world (central China being the oldest). Greek colonization of the area, along with the help of Dionysus of course, is thought to be the origination of wine across France, Italy and Spain. With all this history, it’s pretty amazing that the majority of Americans have zero experience with Greek wine.
Both wines reviewed are from the small island of Santorini in the Aegean. Santorini has a volcanic soil composition and enjoys hot summer days that are cooled in the evening by strong sea breeze. The Assyrtiko grape in this review is a hearty multi-purpose grape that can be crafted from dry to sweet and is similar in presentation to Riesling.
2008 Boutari Assyrtiko
- The Stuff: 100% Assyrtiko from the Santorini region; 13.5%abv; cork enclosure
- The Swirl: Very pale yellow in color; clean, clear and bright
- The Sniff: An appearance of sulfites strikes the nose along with a ripe cantaloupe and house cleaner. Something about the nose feels off-putting.
- The Sip: The Boutari has a mellow mouth coating feel that presents flavors of melon, red apple and stone. The finish is mild and crisp but then presents a slight sour aftertaste.
- The Score: A refreshing wine that is more deserving of food (fish, shrimp, or spicy fair). The acidity was lacking but at $15 I score this wine a solid 3 (out of 5) and would be a fantastic introduction to anyone wanting to experience something new.
2008 Argyros Assyrtiko
- The Stuff: 100% Assyrtiko from Santorini region; 20% aged in oak for 6 months; 13%abv; cork enclosure
- The Swirl: Very light in presentation, almost completely clear with mild hints of straw
- The Sniff: A tight nose that presents strong citrus components and hints of lime
- The Sip: Take a large pink grapefruit, squeeze the contents into a glass and add a spritz of lemon lime. This is what the Argyros presents. The acidity is strong and the finish is tart and steely…pucker up.
- The Score: A very crisp and refreshing wine that will be a strong addition to Mediterranean food pairings. At $15 this wine earns a score of 3+ out of 5.
19 May 2010
“It looks like a sculpture.” “What are those mesh things…does that thing have speakers?!” These were the reactions from the wife and the boy when I set up the Vinturi Deluxe Aerator. When wino friends showed up later that evening for wine and dessert, they ooohed and ahhhed, exclaiming, “I’ve got to have one!” I’m not sure paying $80 for a conversation piece is worth it, but I have paid more for things that are far more useless and look way less cool!
So, why would you possibly be in the market for a Vinturi Aerator? Simple…in a word…impatience. We live in an impatient, instant gratification world. Here is what I mean. A lot of good red wine is not meant to be bought and consumed instantly. Patience is required to properly cellar the wine so that the tannins soften and the wine matures with 3-10 years of aging. Can’t wait…decanting can help. Decanting is the process of pouring the wine into a glass enclosure that allows maximum exposure of oxygen to the wine. Decanting a wine for 1-3 hours can significantly blow off a dusty earth, cork or oak smell and can also soften the strong chalky tannin found in a lot of big red wine. Don’t have time to wait 1-3 hours? Insert the Vinturi Aerator.
The Vinturi is a clever funnel devise that has two narrow holes at the funnel base that draws air into the wine before it enters your glass (see the video for cool close up). From the PR material: “We’ve found the Vinturi to be effective in enhancing aromas, flavors, and finish of virtually every red wine. The amount of improvement depends on the wines quality, age and variety.”
So, does it work? I haven’t done exhaustive research but with the three wines that I have tried I can conclusively and definitively say…I THINK SO. The aerated wine was more open in flavor and aroma. The most expensive wine (not on video) benefited the most. The wine was good before the Vinturi but it was something special after going through the modern art sculpture.
The Vinturi Deluxe comes with a cool table top base and stand to hold the actual aerator. There is also a nifty travel bag for when you want to be the ultimate wine geek and take your fancy toy to wine parties (be prepared to be mocked). The Vinturi is available for under $50, the deluxe kit is available for $80. Personally, I think it’s a pretty cool gift idea for the wino that has everything.
ATTENTION – THIS CONTEST IS OVER (5/31)
Do you want a FREE VINTURI AERATOR
The fine folks at True Fabrications (did you catch the nifty play on words there) – provided me with this sample to review and they want to give ONE LUCKY reader one to try too (free shipping too). True Fabrications is a pretty cool wine accessory shop. They’ve got some pretty fantastic things for entertaining, picnics, parties, and gifts. Once you’re done entering the contest, hop on over to their web site and look around. Here is how you enter to win. Leave a comment on this post. Your email address will remain confidential and you won’t be added to any list. One winning comment will be selected on Friday afternoon for the Vinturi Deluxe Aerator kit.
Watch the video, you’ll see it in action AND there are two wine reviews too.
NV Whitestone Winery Pieces of Red
- The Stuff: Proprietary blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; Estate fruit from Lake Roosevelt Whitestone Vineyard; 13.5%abv; Cork Enclosure
- The Swirl: Dark purple with hints of deep brown highlights. Has a semi-aged wine look with jewel tone edges
- The Sniff: Bight berry fruit with spicy pepper and a hint of cooking spices (all spice)
- The Sip: Elegant and beautiful flavor profile. The fruit is a little thin on the front palate with a ton of action happening on the back side of the mouth. Nice acidity and a lingering finish
- The Score: At $17 I can easily score this wine a 3+ out of 5. It would work for sipping or pair well with grilling, big steaks, pork, pasta and pizza. A fantastic every day red wine.
2007 Duck Pond Cellars Red Blend
- The Stuff: 48% Merlot 30% Syrah and 22% Cab from Desert Wind and Sacajawea Vineyards; aged 14 months in French and American new oak; 14.5%abv
- The Swirl: Bright purple that dances out toward the edges with beautiful jewel tones; Deep and rich with about 90% opacity
- The Sniff: Upon first sniff the wine was oak first then layers of dark berries. Most other aromas were covered by the oak. After aeration, the wine opened up a little more to present a good pepper spice.
- The Sip: A slight sweet cherry fruit on the front palate with a woodsy chalkiness that settles on the back part of the tongue. Moderate acidity with subtle vanilla and cocoa spices on the finish.
- The Score: A fairly complex wine with good structure. Leading with heavy oak keeps this one from scoring high. It’s a great value and a wine for lots of occasions. Better with food. I score it a 3+ out of 5.
14 May 2010
Eight winemakers in Santiago Chile, one Master Sommelier in New York City, fifty-one bloggers scattered all across the country, all unified through the technology of video chat and twitter. Wines of Chile organized this massive tasting to bring awareness to Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Chile’s seven wine regions stretch the massive 2600 mile length of the icicle shaped country. With a variety of terroir, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Chile offers a climate for every vine. From WoC info – “Even today, Chile remains the world’s only wine-producing country to be entirely free of phylloxera” (an aphid type pest that feasts on grape leaves and roots causing significant destruction.)
Why would Wines of Chile reach out to 51 non-traditional media? Is the influence of 51 bloggers worthy of sending 34 cases of wine at a potential retail cost of $7000 (not to mention the added cost of technology, hiring the host, arranging eight wine makers to meet, and shipping). Cost of an event like this could run upwards of $10,000! For me the impressive part is trying to analyze the potential impact that the initial tweet storm / chat generates and then how far of a reach the potential blog posts and future references / recommendations will have. As blogs are written and shared through Twitter, Facebook, etc., the potential reach could easily exceed one million people. This effort, combined with traditional media reinforces the brand and creates a consumer acceptance of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Brilliant use of Social Media!
This tasting video is done differently than most of my others. Watching me swirl, sniff, sip through 8 wines could get pretty tedious (not to mention lengthy). I tried to edit the video so you could capture the essence of the event. Refer to the NectarView below for the official tasting notes and scores. Each of the wines presents a very similar swirl and they are all from the 2009 vintage at
Very special thanks to Fred Dexheimer, Master Sommelier, for being a very gracious, patient and knowledgeable host for the event! Follow him on Twitter @FredDexMS. To view the entire Twitter transcript, click here.
2009 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
- The Stuff: 100% Sauv Blanc from Casablanca Valley; 13.5% abv
- The Swirl: Very pale yellow straw color
- The Sniff: Citrus and minerality on the nose with mild effervescence
- The Sip: Citrus, Kiwi, Lime, minerality and moderately tart. The acidity is slightly off balanced but the wine remains a nice crisp drinker.
- The Score: At $11, this is a fantastic deal and definitely a wine to consider for seafood, spicy dishes, and poolside sipping. I can score this a 3+ out of 5
2009 Ventisquero Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauv Blanc from Casablanca Valley; 13.5% abv; cork
- The Swirl: Very pale yellow straw color, hints of green apple
- The Sniff: Slight vegetal elements with a good amount of grapefruit and white tropical flowers
- The Sip: Fruit attack is mellow orange blossoms that open up to minerality and crisp acidity. Well balanced flavors with coy nuances that provide lasting interest.
- The Score: At $17, this is a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc. It provides the traditional flavor profiles while maintaining a crisp balanced acidity. I score this a 3+ out of 5
2009 Undurraga T.H. Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley; 13.5%abv; screwcap
- The Swirl: Very pale yellow straw color
- The Sniff: Green peppers, chilies and honeydew melon on the nose
- The Sip: The fruit on the T.H. is melon, lime and chilies. Blogger, swirlsmellslurp wrote “Chiles, honeydew melon, and a tequila shot with lime and salt.” I agree with their assessment. Big acidity makes the whole thing feel slightly disjointed to me. Screams for food!
- The Score: At $16 the flavors are intriguing and complex. The acidity on the back end throws it off a little. I can score this a solid 3 out of 5 with the warning to pair with food!
2009 Valdivieso Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley; 13.5%abv, wild fermentation with no added yeast. Barrel aged in large French oak for 6 months; cork
- The Swirl: Yellow apple color with hints of pale green
- The Sniff: A dramatic departure from the traditional citrus Sauv Blanc, this wine jumps out with sour orange, herbs, and a sugary sherry smell (almost like a port). A yeasty break component rounded out the aromas.
- The Sip: Funky yeast, bell peppers, and a strong herbaciousness make this a distinctively different wine. Some palates may enjoy the flavor profile because of its unique presentation. If you’re looking for a traditional Sauv Blanc, this is not it.
- The Score: At $22, this is an out of character Sauv Blanc. I give it a score of 2 out of 5. The profile is off, disjointed and out of balance. That, coupled with the higher price for its variety, brings the score down.
Many people during the tasting indicated thoughts of an off bottle. Across the board the wine was definitely intended to be crafted in this way.
2009 Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley; 13.7%abv; screwcap
- The Swirl: Traditional mellow yellow pale Sauv Blanc color
- The Sniff: Floral and lemon peel with a hint of earthy grass
- The Sip: A very focused bi-dimensional flavor profile with only grapefruit and green peppers coming through. The wine is very well balanced with a good acidity and quickly diminishing finish.
- The Score: At $20, I can give this wine a 3 out of 5. It’s a good wine, but there is nothing spectacular about it. At the price range, this only comes across as an average offering.
2009 Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% organically grown Sauv Blanc from the San Antonio Valley; 13.5%abv; screwcap
- The Swirl: Very pale yellow green color
- The Sniff: Very tight on the nose with only slight floral blossom and citrus present
- The Sip: What was lacking on the aroma comes out to gently play on the palate. The Cono Sur is what you would expect from a traditional Sauv Blanc. Tropical fruit, pineapple, good minerality. Wine blogger, winefoot, described this wine as a grassfield creamsickle. I couldn’t agree more.
- The Score: At only $13, this classic presentation of Sauv Blanc showcases the potential of this Chilean variety. I score this wine a 4 out of 5. Easily the best value Sauv Blanc I’ve had in a while!
2009 Haras de Pirque Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Estate Sauvignon Blanc; 13.0%abv; cork
- The Swirl: Light yellow gold tones
- The Sniff: Light flower and citrus. This wine does not open up on the nose. It seems to be wearing a long sleeve turtle neck on a hot day.
- The Sip: Subtle tones of melon and lemon lime. Very singular focused flavor profile. Strong acidity that desires food.
- The Score: At $12 this is a wine that provides good value and doesn’t have any off putting flavors. Because it lacks anything significant, I can only score it a 3 out of 5.
2009 Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Colchagua Valley; 13.5%abv; screw cap
- The Swirl: Pale yellow straw and green apple
- The Sniff: This wine is a smack in the nose with grapefruit, pineapple, and other citrus. Take too deep of a sniff and you’ll burn your nose
- The Sip: A full on drink of dry crisp grapefruit and lemon. Tart finish with medium acidity. A mild hint of minerality on the finish
- The Score: $23; If you like grapefruits, you’ll score this high, but for an overall score of the balance of the wine in comparison to like varietal characteristics, I can only score this a 3 out of 5.
The overall synopsis for me is that seven of the eight wines displayed Sauv Blanc varietal tendencies of citrus, grass, bell pepper, and acid. Four of the eight wines presented very good values and flavor profiles. My favorites were wines 1, 2 and 6.
10 May 2010
Twenty four hours of Chardonnay? When I heard the concept I was a little baffled. Previous online tasting events have been confined to a few short hours of frenzy and fury. 2000 tweets crammed into 2 hours can be pretty tough to tackle even for the most experienced twitter addict. The expanded time frame allows for other countries to participate in their own time zones and allows for a very relaxed tasting schedule.
Chardonnay? Really – why Chardonnay? I suppose when you think about it the much maligned US version of the grape isn’t really a great representation of what Chardonnay can be. There’s more to Chardonnay than apple pie and oak buttered toast. One of the most widely planted grapes in the world, Chardonnay is a wine makers grape that can take on many different characteristics shaped by the winemaker. The wine can be “naked,” fermented in stainless steel to showcase the pure essence of the grape. It can be fermented in combinations of new, used, American, or French oak to bring out various vanilla and cedar aroma. The grape can also undergo malolactic fermentation (conversion of tart apple citrus malic acid to smooth rich buttery lactic acid). Chardonnay is truly a world-wide grape with a wide range of appeal.
Hosted by St. Supery Winery’s Rick Bakas, the #Chardonnay tasting brought people together from all corners of the globe. During the tasting, I personally interacted with people from New Zealand, China, France, and South America. These type of events provide a vast opportunity to connect to other wine lovers and learn about the various manifestations of the wine. Rick has previously hosted #CaliCabs, #SauvBlanc, and #WineBlends. Each of these events has changed the way we think about online interaction and wine drinking.
Stats from www.wthashtag.com
#CaliCabs (February 11, 2010) 1400 tweets from 275 participants
#SauvBlanc (March 4, 2010) 2700 tweets from 610 participants
#WAMerlot (March 25) 1900 tweets from 480 participants
#WineBlends (April 1) Didn’t track but this analysis shows great participation
#Chardonnay (May 6) 2400 tweets from 605 participants
Activity for #Chardonnay was spread out over the course of the day which meant that I missed a good portion of the overseas tweets. The format allowed more people to participate on their own schedule but the saturation of tweets was diminished by the extended time.
During the event I had the privilege of tasting through four wines of various styles. The amazing observation was that each wine was completely different and unique and could never have been mistaken for the other. Each wine brought strengths to the table which made for a very fun review. The video is fast paced because I had to taste through four wines in under 8 minutes. Below are the notes and formal scores for each wine.
2009 St Supery Oak Free Chardonnay
- The Stuff: 100% estate fruit Chardonnay (Napa Valley) fermented in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. 13.7%abv
- The Swirl: Golden tone with green hues. There is a mild cloudiness to the wine.
- The Sniff: Bright dynamic citrus notes of lemon and granny smith apples. Seems fizzy on the nose
- The Sip: If I could take a wine and snap it like celery, this would have a sharp crack to it. The fruit play is moderately sour pineapple and grapefruit. The flavors are abundant and the acidity is on the high side. There is a slight effervescence that comes through. The finish is moderate.
- The Score: At $22, I score this wine a solid 3 out of 5. The score is lowered slightly because of the disjointed balance between the fruit, acidity and minerality. It’s a very refreshing wine that I would buy again to pair with spicy food or to take on the boat!
No cellar tracker reviews for 2009 vintage. 2008 vintage has 5 reviews with 87 pt average
2008 Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay
- The Stuff: 100% Chardonnay from winemaker Charlie Wagner. Fermented in concrete and stainless steel. No malolactic fermentation. 14.8%abv
- The Swirl: Yellow gold tone, clean and clear
- The Sniff: Subdued aroma of honeydew, pear and white tropical flowers. Mild yet intriguing
- The Sip: The impressive part of this wine is the balance from front to back. It does not present itself as an overly round Chardonnay flavor but instead brings hints of honeydew, perfume and minerality (concrete?). The acidity and finish are also very well balance making this wine good for either summer deck sipping or pairing with halibut, rockfish, shrimp, or pork.
- The Score: At $32 this is on the higher price range for most people’s Chardonnay budget but the beauty of the wine’s flavor, balance and finish score it a 3+ out of 5.
This wine comes in the most unique container. The 2008 Mer Soleil Silver is in a grey ceramic bottle.
No cellar tracker reviews for the 2008 vintage. 2007 vintage has 18 scores with 88 pt average
2006 Kiona Winery Chardonnay
- The Stuff: 85% Chardonnay, 9% Chenin Blanc, 3% Rousanne, 3% Viognier. Fermented in 75% stainless and 25% new oak; 13.7%abv with 2500 cases made
- The Swirl: Light pale straw, nearly clear in color. Medium viscosity
- The Sniff: The aromas are slightly disjointed with hints of pear and a baking spice or herb that throws it off a little.
- The Sip: The mouth feel is more reminiscent of a traditional Chardonnay without the heavy coating and thickness. The moderate melon and pear are thrown off by only what I can pinpoint as brown fruit or herbaciousness and soil. It lacks any significant acidity and the finish is limited.
- The Score: At only $10, this wine is no slouch but seems slightly off on the flavor profile. I score this wine 3 out of 5.
Check out JJ and Molly from Kiona Wine as they do a Chardonnay food and wine pairing video.
Cellar tracker score of 87 points on one review
2007 Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
- The Stuff: 100% estate Chardonnay fermented in 100% new French oak (sorry, no other info)
- The Swirl: Very golden like a blond lager. The gold was so pure it seemed to ooze value and wealth.
- The Sniff: Beautiful notes of honey, sugar, and citrus melon. During a blind tasting of this wine (on another night) I pegged this wine as being the only oak fermented Chardonnay. It’s not overly oaked but the beauty of the vanilla comes through as a giveaway.
- The Sip: Wonderful mouth coating feel without being flabby and buttery. The aromas from the nose repeat themselves here with a balanced acidity that refreshed your palate and creates a crisp lengthy finish.
- The Score: At $35 this is a 4 (out of 5). The Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay brings credibility back to the process of using oak in a balanced and flavorful way. The regal Chardonnay fruit shines and presents a vast array of food pairing potential.
Cellar tracker score of 86 on 9 reviews
**Wines were provided as an industry sample with the intention to review