Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More September Whites (3): Australia Chard, NZ Sauv Blanc, Canada Chard

ELDERTON ‘UNWOODED' CHARDONNAY 2006, Barossa, Australia, 13.5% D, #906453 $14.95 (Tasted September 29, 2006)

Vintages released this September 30, 2006 described as "A fantastic value, this stainless-steel-fermented and -aged Chardonnay is the Australian answer to Chablis. Extremely fresh and fruit-driven, expect generous aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruits. It is dry, medium-bodied with a crisp lingering finish. Enjoy with pan-seared scallops or lighter pasta dishes." Winecurrent gives it four and one half stars (of 5) saying "This is a ripper! The lifted nose of tropical fruit sets up this medium-textured white that over-delivers on the palate and price to quality ratio. You will be treated to a huge fruit attack of ripe peach, pineapple and nectarine. More of the same as the lively finish also delivers zesty citrus to keep it clean and refreshing. Rare to experience this much heft and texture without oak. Good balance, good structure and a good idea to stock up. (VH)" My notes: Citrus and kiwi fruit aromas waft from the swirling glass - doesn't take much for a rich nose to appear. A light blond with a very slight rose hue, flavours of honey, a faint ripe pineapple, a sharpness on the swallow then a smooth finish with a slight tangerine zest and a straw note. A different chardonnay that makes a fresh sipper. Have with any light seafood: scallops on a skewer, shrimp on the BarB, even cold chicken on greens. Went well with aged cheddar and oat crisps. Cellaring should work - I'd try two years. A bargain if you're looking for an unoaked chardonnay.

COTTESBROOK SAUVIGNON BLANC 2005, Marlborough, NZ, 12.5% XD, #657221 $16.95 (Tasted September 28, 2006)

Vintages released this August 20, 2006 saying "Established in 2002, Cottesbrook unites two family-owned estates, St Helena Wine Estate and Rossendale Wines, to produce Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. The house style is a wine with aromas of gooseberry, redcurrant bushes and nettles. Expect a ripe, crisp, varietally correct wine that would match grilled asparagus or mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese. Winecurrent gives it four stars (of 5) saying "And now for something completely different. Here is a Kiwi SB that has a touch of restraint and finesse. All the elements are there in spades, herbaceousness, gooseberry, passion fruit and citrus, but they are subdued in a charming and inviting manner. If you like aspects of typical Sauvignon Blanc, but find them overpowering (as many do) then I highly recommend this to you...etc. (VH)" Natalie MacLean gives it 89/100 describing it as "herbal, refreshing and zesty. Classic." My notes: Cottesbrook also produces the Governor's Bay label for the Canadian market. After airing and warming in the glass the gooseberry in the nose is light and merges with a slight mineral tone and citrus edge - the redcurrant bushes must be twenty feet away on a windless day. Flavours are very subdued: some gooseberry, some lime, some honey smoothness although all very light. The finish sparkles with bright acid and remnants of gooseberry. An interesting sipper if you like delicate. Was OK with tuna chow mein casserole and salad - but it's difficult to fit on a menu. Not enough substance to cellar more than a year - a drink now.

NK'MIP CELLARS CHARDONNAY 2004, Okanagan, Canada, 13.6% D, #687699 $17.95 (Tasted September 26, 2006)

A Vintages release on September 16, 2006 and described as "A Bronze-Medal winner at the 2006 New World International Wine Competition (California). Expect aromas of melon, honey, minerals and citrus fruit leading to a ripe round creamy palate with medium acidity keeping it in balance. Enjoy now with roasted pork or grilled salmon." My notes: I guess you can 'expect aromas of' but actually the nose is a light citrus. A light golden colour and airing as long as forty minutes helps slightly with flavours. A sharp citrus palate somewhat creamy but not 'buttery' with a sour melon/lemon finish. Not a pleasant sipper having some characteristics of overripe grapes - or perhaps being stored at a hot temperature. Should be OK when paired with grilled salmon or tuna, saucy seafood pasta, shrimp or scallop or mushroom risotto. If you got some try cellaring for two years.... or use for a white sangria.

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