Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Norman Hardie Winery 2006 County Chardonnay - $29.00

Norman Hardy looks like a laid back kind of fellow, he has one of those accents that's a mish-mash of everywhere he's been and nowhere in particular; but get this wondering winemaker between a few of his barrels of wine and suddenly you know his origin is somewhere between the vineyard and the cellar. In the cellar he seems to atke on the roll of the nutty professor, going from barrel to barrel sampling, tasting and measuring; and the blends he comes up with are nothing short of wonderful. Before me sits a glass of his 2006 County Chardonnay (set for release in July 2007); only 800 liters will be available and it's gonna go quick – Norm’s wines are always in high demand. Aged in both new and second use French oak, this wine has tropical fruit on the nose with vanilla bean and butter. The palate is right at the heart of what Norm is aiming for and here he again hits the mark, “I’ll sacrifice aromatics for better structure and taste”, he once told me, and while the nose might leave a little something to be desired, the taste does not . Melon, vanilla, tropical fruit, nutmeg, baking spice and a mid-palate that has amongst other things has a thin coating of butter. The acidity in this wine is just right, and really gets the mouth watering. Then there’s the length, which will keep you coming back for more. Another notch on Norm’s belt of tasty, quality wines.

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