Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Undivided Chardonnay (2015) Wine Review

Undivided. Honestly, I swear it was by sheer coincidence that this happened to be my Wine Wednesday feature this week. But as ironic as it may be, I find the name most fitting. Perhaps we can all come together over a lovely glass of wine – the 2015 Undivided Chardonnay.
The label indicates that this is a product of France. It is most common in French wine that the label indicates the appellation (where the grapes were grown). In this case, it does not which leads me to believe that this wine was not bottled at the vineyard but rather at a large facility which may not actually be in the appellation where the grapes were grown, or that it’s a product comprised of the grapes or wines from several producers.
In the glass, it is the color of light golden straw. On the nose, notes of tropical fruit, melon and almond. The mouthfeel is silky and buttery as the wine reveals well-balanced acidity on the finish. On the palate there are subtle woody notes, though not necessarily oak. This wine has spent very little time if any in oak barrels.
We enjoyed this with Salmon with Dill Sauce. Try also with Italian Chicken Veggie Wraps. Click the links below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2011 Montecillo Rioja Crianza Tempranillo Wine Review

Have you ever wondered what the date (year on the wine bottle) meant?  Is it the year the wine was made, the year it was released, or the year the grapes were harvested? Though wine laws vary in different parts of the world, the vintage year in every case is the year the grapes were harvested.  
In the case of this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2011 Montecillo Rioja Crianza Tempranillo (TEM-pra-KNEE-oh), the grapes for this wine were harvested in 2011. Tempranillo is the primary red wine varietal from the Rioja region.
This wine comes from the Rioja (Ree-OH-ha) wine region of Spain. There are four classifications for Rioja wines; Rioja, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. The difference is predominantly the amount of aging before it reaches the shelves in your wine shop. To be classified as Crianza the wine must age a minimum of one year in oak and one year in the bottle. Thus, the earliest this wine was released would have been 2013.
Crianza is likely the most widely available and is usually reasonably priced (under $15) which makes this a great “weeknight” wine. On the nose, dark fruit, baking spice and hints of tobacco. I found this wine to be fruit forward and well balanced with a nice amount of acidity. I loved the subtle smoke that lingered on the palate after the finish.
Pair with Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes or Lasagna. Click the links below to print or save the recipes.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Joel Gott Oregon Pinot Gris (2015) Wine Review

As I poured this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2015 Joel Gott Oregon Pinot Gris, I paused a moment when I saw the date and thought to myself, "wow, this is a young wine".  Then I thought again and realized, it’s 2017.  Where does the time go?  Happy New Year!
I tend to be quite fond of Willamette Valley (OR) Pinot Gris and was anxious to try this one. For those that may not be familiar, Pinot Gris is the same varietal as Pinot Grigio but depending on where the grape is grown and the where the wine is produced, the name will vary. I tend to prefer the terroir and the treatment of the Pacific NW style over the widely known Italian style Pinot Grigio. The varietal is French in origin where it is also referred to as Pinot Gris.

On the nose were notes of pear and honey. I found it to be well balanced with a slightly creamy viscosity - a medium bodied white wine. On the finish was more pear, subtle minerality and a crisp finish with faint floral notes on the palate. I think this is the perfect white wine for anyone who doesn’t want something too sweet or too dry. It owns the middle and as a result is great for food pairing and at $14.99, great for sharing too.

We enjoyed this one night with a cheese plate and an assortment of olives I picked up locally at the Olive Mill and the next night with Chicken Pot Pie.

Click the link below for the recipe, or watch my short recipe video for Chicken Pot Pie.