This month’s WBW is hosted by none other than the founder of WBW, Lenn of Lenndevours fame. As the theme for this month, we were tasked to find a “naked,” meaning unoaked, bottle of Chardonnay.
Not a hard theme for me to go along with. I much prefer the unoaked (or very lightly oaked) style of Chardonnay myself. If I really wanted to chew on a tree I’d head out to my backyard. For quite a while I was actually an “anything but Chardonnay” wine drinker as all I’d been exposed to were overoaked monsters. Then I discovered the absolute joy of Chardonnay done in a lightly oaked or unoaked style. Though to be honest, I will still avoid the Chardonnay at most weddings and parties as I live in perpetual fear of getting a mouthful of buttered oak from those!
So the wine. For this month’s WBW, I headed to the roots of my current home and went for a Virginia Chardonnay. I tend to be of the opinion that Virginia does whites a lot better than it does its reds and my pick for this month was no exception to the success I’ve had with VA white wines.
I chose a bottle of Breaux Vineyards 2005 Madeleine’s Chardonnay. It clocked in at 13.2% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost us $16.90. You can find it online through the vineyard for the same price. We picked this bottle up on our recent visit to Breaux’s Key West Wine Festival, a post I hope to write up shortly.
The wine was steel fermented and I can find no mention that it spent any time at all in oak, unlike the bottle I drank last night that I was really excited about only to find that after the steel fermenting it spent several months in oak. So I’ll save that one for another post.
Madeleine’s Chardonnay showed aromas of honey, lemon, tropical fruit, and pears on the nose. The aroma was light and pleasant. In the mouth the wine was smooth with a touch of creaminess and had a round finish. The predominant flavor in the mouth was pear with just a touch of the honey from the nose. Straightforward in the mouth and easy to drink, with a slight lingering sweetness.
We drank the wine with ham and cheese omelets and it fared okay with the meal. I think it would do well on it’s own or with a fruit and cheese appetizer. I was supposed to serve it with grilled pork chops and rice pilaf, but the pork chops were still frozen solid when I got home. I’m glad I didn’t though, because I think the delicate flavors would have been overpowered by that meal.
Overall, a good value for the money and a wine I would certainly get again.
Thanks very much to Lenn for hosting this month’s WBW! I’ll certainly be looking forward to the round-up in hopes of discovering lots of great naked wine for the remainder of our hot summer in DC!
PS-Happy Anniversary to WBW and many congrats to Lenn on his successful continuation of this monthly event!