2011 HIP Dionysus Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay

Wine from Sagemoor Farms’ Dionysus Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA; 13.5% ABV
Produced and bottled by the House of Independent Producers Winery, Richland, WA.  Project of Hedges Family Estate.
$4 at the Oakland, CA, store on 9 Sept.  Seen 12 Sept at the Richmond and Berkeley stores for $8.

2011_DionysusVnyd_Unoaked_ChardThis wine has a screw cap, which I think of as a plus on a white, and an elaborate label.  However, I was disappointed by the wine itself.  Its flavors only somewhat resemble what I think of as Chardonnay: perhaps yellow apple but more like yellow melon or light pear; plenty of white of the melon rind leading to green grape skin bitterness, with both fairly crisp acid and a somewhat creamy texture.  Flavors not very intense. I have no idea what went into making the wine, but the result tastes like at least some of the grapes were quite green.  Perhaps it aimed for a less ripe style like Chablis (as described here for the 2010 bottling), but the Chablis I’ve tasted were more elegant and had a bit more fruit than this effort.  The rest of the bottle in the fridge was somewhat better the next day, but not that different.  I’ll go with Drinkable for $4 but Thumbs Down for $8.


2 thoughts on “2011 HIP Dionysus Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay

  1. lim13

    What a shame…this wine hardly sounds enticing. And the grapes are from one of the oldest growers in the state. When I was making wine (in my garage) from 1980-1989, this is where our grapes came from…Sagemoor Farms’ Bacchus and Dionysus Vineyards north of Pasco. I’m thinking the problem is more with the winemaking than the grapes. But it sounds too like the decision on when to pick the grapes was part of the problem too. The label alone is very off-putting to me…far too “busy”. Hedges ( a very reputable winery on Red Mountain) came out with a bunch of labels like this for their own wines…and I see this is one of their projects. Seems like this effort will not do a lot to keep them in good stead. Tom Hedges sold his wine to Sweden in the beginning and made a lot of money there, allowing him to establish his own winery here in WA. Apparently he still feels a strong urge to continue his European connection through the look of his labels. Personal opinion: I wish he’d trash that idea and stick to American looking labels in America…and respectable wine in the bottle. And twice the price in some GO stores? What’s with that?

  2. seedboy

    I don’t get the divergent pricing. My review is pretty consistent with yours, this wine lacks minerality and needs more acid. It is not a good buy for me even at $4. There is a merlot at the Oakland store for $7.99 and a red blend at the Oakland store for the same price. There is also a new Chilean pinot whose name I’ve forgotten. As I’ve said before I am not a fan of Chilean reds, to me they are almost universally thin and overly vegetal. This pinot has some nice minerality/earthiness but does not taste much like pinot.


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