Altivo Barrel Selection 2009 Chardonnay – Viognier

50% Chardonnay 50% Viognier; 13% ABV
from Finca Eugenio Bustos, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
imported by Usa Wine West for Worldwine Headquarters
$5 at the San Pablo, CA, store on 14 July

2009_Altivo_ChardVigThis wine seemed like it would be harmless at worst and perhaps interesting.  It turns out I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

While it has a lot going for it — full, ripe Chardonnay and Viognier flavors of yellow apple, honeysuckle, orange zest, and peach pit, in a tight structure — it also has strong bitterness of grape skin and likely seed / stem, especially on the finish, that greatly detracts from the rest of it.  This component decreases as the wine warms from fridge temperature and airs some, so that the wine becomes reasonably tasty and drinkable, but the bitterness never goes away.  The next day, the rest of the bottle in the fridge was much more simple and sour.

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