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A doubtful American Chardonnay


AMerican Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Chateau SteMichelle Chardonnay

I  had initially a pleasant surprise from this Columbia Valley Chardonnay. Expecting very little from this basically unknown white wine, I solely relied on the power of surprise and my never ending curiosity. I received it as a gift from a dear friend, not expecting it, and it was the first non-Californian American wine to taste, so you can imagine my taste buds were ready and the corkscrew screaming for some action.

I’ve let it rest for a week though before opening it, and even then I have allowed it sufficient time to settle and breathe, knowing a thing or two about American Chardonnays. Basically, the wine turned to be  nice surprise, then a bit of a disappointment, then just ok.  With American Chardonnays, you never know what to expect in terms of oakyness and vanillosity (if it exists such term).

In few words, just after opening, the Ste Michelle Chardonnay 2011 from Columbia Valley was amazing. For a few minutes. Initially  the nose was fruity and complex, with plenty of hay, sunflower and pineapple, followed by a very astringent note of green tea. Immediately after tasting, the wine exploded in the mouth with green yet ripe aromas of green peaches, olive oil and walnut leaves. Captivating, right? Not so much so after just half an hour of breathing at room temperature, the flavors becoming suddenly heavy and chewy, and the alcohol level quite pungent.

The next day at lunch (it was Saturday!), after a bit of fish and mashed potatoes, the harsh astringency and the heavy alcoholic notes disappeared, returning the fluid to its original fresh-and-ready-to-drink state. On the same evening, what was still left in the bottle became quite fruity and refreshing, hinting of zesty apricots and prickly pears.

The good thing about this wine is that it didn’t display the vulgar cheesecake (citrus and vanilla) notes many American Chardonnays are guilty of. The bad thing about it is that it’s so unpredictable and difficult to grasp, without really being complex. In any case, it kept me drinking and thinking for three days, which is a fact to appreciate. So cheers to the St Michelle Columbia Valley 2011 Chardonnay!.

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This entry was posted on 14 Ianuarie 2013 by in English and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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