Monday, May 09, 2005

3 Chardonnays: NZ, Canada

KIM CRAWFORD UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2004 (and 2001), Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% (12.5%) D, #991950 $19.95 ($18.95)

Vintages says: "Whether oaked or unoaked, Kim Crawford's fine hand with Chardonnay is always apparent. This is an enjoyable drink-young style. The 2004 vintage shows a strong malolactic (acid-softening) influence, with pronounced butterscotch characters and a peachy, fractionally off-dry finish. (Michael Cooper, Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wine 2005)." My notes: Both vintages are crystal clear with a straw tinge and a soft nose, the 2001, cellared in December 2002, creamier and showing an appealing touch of grassiness. Both have a flavour of delicate peach with a light cream touch - 'butterscotch' is in the feel not the flavour. A reasonable acid balance and not as 'extra dry' as a burgundy white, has a smoothe long finish. Not intended to be cellared beyond a year altho' the screwcap allows this to be extended somewhat depending on the cellar conditions and the 2001, I'd say, improved. 2004 was in Vintages release April 30, 2005. Sip when a fruity or full-flavoured wine isnt your thing. Have either with white fish (e.g. telapia), egg souffle or cold chicken and greens.

DANIEL LENKO OLD VINES CHARDONNAY 1999 (American Oak), Beamsville, Ont., 13.0% D, #Winery $19.95

Lenko website notes (for his 2001 vintage): "Toast, smoke and butterscotch flavours lead the way, with pineapple, peach and spice unfolding a deep and intense experience." My notes: Purchased from the winery and cellared May, 2001. A crystal clear light straw liquid. Nose is now a soft toast with lemon notes. A pleasing cream texture with lemon/melon falvours and a long smoothe finish. This last bottle of the original six was cellared a year too long losing most of its fruit putting a focus on a toasty American oak flavour. An OK sipper but with sufficient crispness for white fish, grilled shrimp and vegetable kebobs or Swiss Chalet chicken with fries.

CAVE SPRING VINEYARD CSV CHARDONNAY 1999, Jordan, Ont., 14.5% XD, #529941 $32.95

LCBO notes: "The current vintage (yr?) was released September 4, 2004. The CSV single vineyard line is Cave Spring's top range. The grapes come from their oldest vineyard with vines that are between 23 and 27 years of age. The winery suggests enjoying this wine with quail, pheasant or guinea hen with mushrooms, pork tenderloin with grain mustard, roast chicken or grilled veal chops." My notes: Purchased at the winery and cellared June, 2003 is still full flavoured but at the price wouldn't chance another year. Current Vintages stock will be a more recent vintage and a few dollars lower. A light pineapple and mandarin nose fills the glass, a clear light straw colour and creamy smoothe approach for a nicely balanced pineapple/melon style - some oak but not much. Has a long, pleasant melon finish, coats the lips. An excellent sipper for those enjoying chardonnay. Pair with any fowl or seafood, eg. Mother's Day dinner of lobster, vegetable kebobs and wild rice.

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