Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Three in One - Mountain Road Chardonnays

Word has finally made it onto the streets: the Grape Guy is not a chardonnay fan, and every Tom, Dick and Winemaker is out to change that way of thinking. The most recent is Mountain Road Wine Company, who recently released a slew of chardonnays – two of which were award winners: one at the Ontario Wine Awards (OWA) and the other a double-gold recipient at the All Canadian Wine Championships (ACWC). We’ll start with the non-winner of the grouping, the 2004 Unoaked Chardonnay ($15.15); which I believe, by all rights, should have been an award winner. Many wineries are getting away from too much oak in their Chards, while others are giving wine drinkers the option of staved or non-staved (wooded). This unoaked version is wonderfully fruity on the nose with tropical fruit layers: mangoes and pineapple, on a bed at leafy green lettuce, probably from some extended lees contact. The front-palate follows the nose, while the back is peach pit and leafy. There's plenty of alcohol in this one (14%) and the finish is delicious under-ripe peach. Moving along down the line of new Chardonnays is the 2003 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay ($16.15). This one has the same alcohol heat as it's unwooded counterpart, but there's plenty of barrel influenced tastes and smells here; the colour also shows it's a barrel origins with a more golden hue. The nose shows butterscotch, vanilla, and nutmeg with a subtle hint of some grassy-leafiness. In the mouth the wine explodes with a multitude of flavors including: vanilla, toasty spices, some leesy-butteryness, and celery salt; some long oakyness finishes this one off in your mouth (this barrel fermented won the gold at the OWA’s). Finally, we have your double gold medal winner; and with all this hardware they should anoint Steve Kocsis (owner and winemaker) the new King of the Chards, if there was such a crown to be given. The 2003 Barrel Fermented Reserve Chardonnay ($26.15) has got some hot, hot heat in the alcohol department (14.7%), making this one good for drinking or cleaning wounds. The nose is pure butter and vanilla, while the palate shows buttery, oak and cinnamon flavors. This one needs time to settle down and develop further, but its mouth coating flavors and pleasant lengthy finish bodes well for its future.

No comments: