Dreaming of Seafood

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

I ate a lot of seafood this summer. Between Portugal and Maine my late July and early August were all about seafood. So I had seafood on the brain when I plucked the 2012 The Clambake Chardonnay from my sample roulette. Perhaps it was the lobster on the label that drew me to the bottle. I don’t know what it retails for, as I can’t find anywhere to buy it online…but I’m guessing maybe $14 or so?

Four takeaways from this wine:


1.) I often tend to reach for a slightly oaky Chardonnay to go with my shellfish and lobstah. This wine showed none of that, but was a great foil for the rich lobster meat and butter.

2.) Since I think it retails at a fairly reasonable price, this would actually be a great clambake wine for a crowd.

3.) Here in the DC area, we actually tend to do crabfests around this time of year and it would work really well for that as well.

4.) Fresh and fruity, this is a fun summer wine.

On the nose I got melon, lime, apple, and lemon. Overall it displayed a bright fruit nose. On the palate I found apple, yellow apple, lemon rind, and tropical notes. The wine had good acidity and bit into butter quite well.



What’s better than wine for breakfast?

Cute bit of marketing from Wines of Brasil.

*Disclaimer: Snooth provided transportation and boarding so I could attend this event.

Not much, really. Except perhaps Brazilian wine for breakfast which was a new wine experience for me. Not the wine for breakfast part, the Brazilian part. I suppose I vaguely knew that wine is made in Brazil, similar to how I know wine is made in Kansas, but I’ve never seen any in the market. It appears that Brazil’s largest market is in Russia, with the US coming in 3rd, but a very distant third.  Overall, Merlot is the dominant red grape with about 60% of the red wine produced being Merlot.

I’m always excited to explore a new to me wine region, and Brazil is no exception. The folks from Wines of Brasil brought a wide range of styles for us to try, from sparkling to dessert wine. Following are my notes, exactly as I typed them into my iPad, with only my spelling cleaned up.

The line up.

2010 Cave Geisse Nature sparkling- made in the Champagne Method, bright pear, acid, bread, slight cream, green apple, lots of acid, tart, definitely will wake up your taste buds, which was an excellent start to my day since I didn’t sleep well in the hotel the night before.

NV Casa Valduga 130: peppery, smokey,  yellow apple, Asian pear, seems like a little residual sugar, pear, apple, acidity, tight tart bubbles

2011 Salton Virtude Chardonnay: butter oak, coconut, pear, apple, light on the palate, slight butter, pear, apple.

2012 Lidio Carraro Dadivas Chardonnay: melon, tropical, pear, light, spice, herbs, very light, apple, pear. The winery uses no wood of any kind.

2009 Villagio Grando Chardonnay: herbs, dank, wet, stone, cement, green, earth, cedar, very herbal, pear, not a lot of fruit.

2007 Salton Desejo Merlot: bright red plum, raspberry, spice, herbs, chocolate, earth, dirt, very restrained, good fruit, earth, plum, the fruit is not the star of the flavors/aromas. No one would ever call them jammy.

2009 Pizzato Reserva Merlot: light, very reserved nose, earth, dirt, olives, herbal notes, salt, very earth drive, hardly any fruit.

2009 Miolo Merlot Terroir: more fruit than the previous wine, some raspberry, plum, wood, black cherry, tons of acidity, plum, earth, dirt, salt, dark fruit, more familiar as a Merlot, floral.

2009 Pizzato Fausto Verve: funky, black fruit, dark, plum, cherry blackberry, barnyard, herbs, dark, tannic, needs time.

2006 Lidio Carraro Grande Vindima Quorum: strawberry, floral, spice, herbs, cherry, spice, herbs, anise, woody, tannins, lovely nose,

2009 Perini Quatro: vanilla cream chocolate wood, oak lots of it, green under that, but the oak influence is really predominate, smooth, round, fruity, vanilla, cream, would easily appeal to the general North American palate. New world.

2007 Casa Valduga Villa Lobos: funk, earth, mint, eucalyptus, wood, spice herb, some black fruit, very dark, very tannic, needs age.

2008 Miolo Lote 43: chocolate dust, vanilla cream, lovely and floral, cherries, cream, cherry, raspberry, red fruit on the palate, nice mouthfeel, might be my favorite, really restrained austere fruit, mineral, a saltiness, the pieces are all there.

Pretty color on the Moscato.

NV Aurora Carnaval Moscato Rose: very sweet nose, definitely muscat, honey, sweet melon, overripe peach, less sweet in mouth, slightly frizzante, still a ton of peach of melon, could drink a tiny tiny glass, even though nice acidity. My mom would like this.

The standouts from this tasting for me were the NV Casa Valduga 130, the 2007 Salton Desejo Merlot, and the 2008 Miolo Lote 43. Overall I think the 2009 Perini Quatro would likely be the most successful wine in the typical US market.  I’d be very interested to check out more of the sparkling wines from Brazil as I thought they had quite a bit of potential.

2009 Johan Chardonnay Reserve

Up last for the white and rose portion of speed dating we have the Johan 2009 Chardonnay Reserve. Yay for more OR wine to round out this tasting! This chardonnay retails for $33. On the nose I am getting some toast and butter from the oak treatment and some yellow apple. In the mouth I am getting more apple, a buttery finish. pear, and yellow apple.  They add the lees back to the bottle on this, interesting.

Another one I’d pair with grilled white fish.

Almost all the OR wines make me think of seafood. Must be that Pacific Northwest thing!

2010 Votre Sante Chardonnay

Rounding up on our 8th speed dating wine we have a 2010 Votre Sante Chardonnay. Really bright tropical notes on the nose with pear, caramel, and vanilla bean notes. On the palate, peach and pear dominate, with a toasty note that I love. It retails for $12.99.

I almost want to drink this with some cedar planked salmon. I think it would stand up well.

2010 Rodney Strong Chalk HIll Chardonnay

The fifth wine I’m speed dating with is the 2010 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, a very familiar wine for me. We drink a lot of wine from Rodney Strong at our house!  The nose is toasted with some caramel undertones and yellow apple and pear. In the mouth it’s very smooth on the palate, with well rounded fruit, yellow apple, pear, and almost a hint of peach.

At $20, the Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay always offers a consistent value. Would be great to drink with grilled scallops.

2010 Longhand Chardonnay

Our 3rd wine for speed dating at WBC 12 is the 2010 Longhand Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.  Bright yellow apple, lemon, pear, some oak on the nose. In the mouth more citrus, some lime and tarter apple, oak is slightly present.

Pair with a cream sauce or a heartier white fish, like rainbow trout.

2009 Jordan Chardonnay

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

As a prelude to our recent CA trip, I pulled this bottle of 2009 Jordan Chardonnay from the basement, since we had plans to visit Jordan while in the area.  The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $25. I have lots to tell you about our visit to Jordan, but that is (mostly) for another post!

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Jordan does two things: Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. They do them well.

2.) This wine was like an excellent apple pie in a glass.

3.) I don’t think I have ever seen as many stainless steel tanks in one room before, prior to visiting Jordan.

4.) With well-integrated oak lending body and structure to the wine, I think this would appeal to a wide spectrum of Chardonnay drinkers.

On the nose I got pineapple, spice, apple, fresh pear, baked apple pie, baking spice, and lemon curd. In the mouth I found apple, pear, spice, yellow apple, and slight cream on the finish.  The wine had great structure and body, with a long, smooth finish.


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