Sierra Foothills, CA; 14.5% ABV
produced and bottled by Madroña Vineyards
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 5 May
This is one of those wines about which I had been curious for a while. It seems like something that should be awful: a grape that’s usually produced in cooler climates grown in a warm area, resulting in a higher-alcohol wine. However, it did make me wonder… maybe, just maybe, it’s interesting wine.
On the first night, it was pretty nice, with a nice nose of slightly musty yellow flowers, yellow apple, and lemon. In the mouth, the full-bodied wine has plenty more of that plus white pear, oak, and a small amount of something like dried pineapple. My only complaint is a little roughness on the finish, the flavor of which strangely reminds me of sun-baked latex. It’s not that bad, though.
On the second night, the wine is cleaner and smoother, with the same full, ripe fruit, supporting oak, and nice fruit / acid balance. Stylistically, it reminds me of nothing so much as a Napa Valley Chardonnay, but made with Riesling grapes instead. The flavors are Riesling flavors, it lacks the fleshier texture of a Chardonnay, and the acid is a little more piercing than a Chardonnay’s usually is. If this sounds good to you, and I expect it would be pretty popular, Thumbs Up!
The rest of the wine in the fridge was still quite good a few days later.