Jun 252010

This week’s wines are Big Ass Chardonnay, Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Artesa Cabernet and Four Vines Zinfandel

June 25, 2010

Big Ass Chardonnay 2008 – Napa Valley, CA  $10

Ok, here is your bargain patio Chardonnay. The label says that this is an all out oaky buttery chardonnay. We love these flavors. While Big Ass does exhibit some oak and butter, the flavors are not as intense as the label implies. In addition to butter and oak, expect to taste notes of apple and even a touch of coconut. All in all this is a very good value wine for a patio sipper.

Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2007 – Sonoma, CA $17

Didn’t find this wine much to my liking but the women in my life liked it a bit better. Lots of lemon and apple flavors with a little bit of tropical fruit. There is a little oak but it hides in the background. The two bottles we tried has a slight effervescence that I found a bit off putting. For the money, there are a number of better choices out there.

Goldeneye Pinot Noir 2006 – Anderson Valley, CA $60

Cru, one of our favorite wine bars offers a “by the glass” big bottle selection each Wednesday and not long ago the wine was Goldeneye Pinot. I was not familiar with this wine which is part of the Duckhorn family. Wowser was it good! Wine Spectator gave this wine 90 and Wine Enthusiast gave it a 91, well-deserved scores. The grapes come entirely from four vineyards in Anderson Valley. The result is a full bodied pinot with a velvety texture with big tannins that balance the bold fruit. It was nice to be able to enjoy such a premium wine by the glass(es).

Artesa Reserve Cabernet 2005 – Napa  Valley, CA  $35

Another excellent wine from Artesa. In addition to the cabernet, the blend includes small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The grapes are from a number of vineyards that are all well drained low vigor sites. Only the small berries are used to create this intense cab. Expect to pick flavors of raspberry, blackberry cassis, dark chocolate and vanilla among others. The tannins blend well with the fruit to create a very long finish. Drink this wine slowly so you can really appreciate its layered complexity as it opens in your glass. The wine is still a bit young for its structure so be sure to decant for about an hour to get the full experience this wine has to offer.

Four Vines Maverick Zinfandel 2007 – Amador County, CA  $25

This wine is often offered by the glass in restaurants and bars. If you are looking for a jammy fruit bomb Zin, the Maverick will not disappoint. Big and chewy with hints spice, oak and vanilla add to the experience. The grapes come from a combination of 100 year old vines and 40 year old vines with a bit of Syrah blended in. I wonder how this jammy wine would taste spread on toast…pretty good I’d bet.

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