Monday, July 30, 2007

The Friend-Friendly Chardonnay Quest

As noted before, I love chardonnay. A little bit of oak, a little cream, (not so much it tastes like a dollop of butter though) maybe even a hint of hazelnut or nutmeg equals a yummy chardonnay. However, aside from Terry, I stand alone in this chardonnay love affair. (luckily he likes it as much as I do)

I've been experimenting with others whites, hoping there was something I liked as much. Alas, it is just not the case. I just don't like wimpy white wines or crisp tart make my cheeks tingle whites either. Or wines that taste like grass, with or without lemon-no thank you either way. As an add-on to my quest however, I have been trying to find chardonnays that my friends might like. Well, not like as in buy again, but like as in not dread it when I walk in the door with a bottle of chardonnay. (Its not an evil grape, I promise!) Some like the Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay, so I'll focus my attention on finding some more oak-free chardonnays.

When I was researching the percentages for the previous post, I noted that St. Supery (which is coming up quite often in my posts, odd since I've only had their wines a few times) has un oakless chardonnay. It is described as:

Now, for something completely different. No barrels. No secondary fermentation. Chardonnay, pure, but oh so far from simple. Using gently pressed “free run” juice from just-ripe estate grapes, a chilled stainless steel fermentor and techniques adapted from our success with Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a sensibility inspired by our predecessors in Champagne and Chablis, we dare to strip Chardonnay down to its essence.

This wine is subtle, satisfyingly complex, complete, and hard to put down. It has delicate touches one finds in wine that has seen barrels, without the heavy hand of oak. Instead of wood, the grapes and yeast together supplied a whiff of nutmeg, sweet vanilla, and the savory smell of oven-fresh golden-crusted bread (without the butter.) The character of unadulterated Chardonnay, grapes or juice, is hard to describe, like the smell of fresh pippin apples and pears combined, plus something ineffable that one comes to recognize, after many tries, as “Chardonnay”. To taste this wine is to taste that.

Wow, "stripping" and "unadulterated" chardonnay grapes. How...naughty. With a description like that, how can I not try it, even if it fails to be the Friend Friendly Chardonnay?? One day I will find one, I know it. I'll be on the lookout for this one in the meantime, although on the website its listed as $22.

1 comment:

WinoFriend said...

Okay, the last posting was an accidental double post. Here's what I meant to write...

As one of your non-wine loving Chardonnay friends, I have had the St. Supery in question. And the pourer at the winery was lovely, lovely. She spent a great deal of time emphasizing its unusual characteritics and was very quicky to point out that it wasn't a "butter bomb" or "oak bomb" or any other missile like implement. But...we still didn't like it. Sorry.
I know the right Chard for me is out there somewhere and I appreciate your quest to find it!