Tue 27 Jan 2009
Yes, I know, the Wine of the Week last week was a chardonnay, but I wanted to offer one made in a very different style. (Last week was the Gundlach Bundschu Chardonnay 2006, Sonoma Valley.)
There’s not an ounce of flab to the Capel Vale Chardonnay 2007, from the Margaret River region of Western Australia; this chardonnay has been doing its core work! The color is pale straw-gold; the nose is clean and fresh, a wreathing of green apple, pear and baking spices with a profound limestone element, which does not keep the whole package from being winsome and attractive. In the mouth, this chardonnay delivers lovely flavors of crystallized ginger, mango and grapefruit in a texture that’s spare without being sinewy; vibrant acidity lends liveliness and resonance. Though it aged nine months in all-new French oak, the wine soaked up that wood effortlessly, turned with a “Thank you very much” and never gave it a second thought; IOW, oak here provides subtle shape and structure (and that hint of spice) and otherwise does not reveal its presence. Impressive purity and intensity; gratifying balance and harmony. The alcohol content is a sensible 13 percent. We drank this with grilled steelhead salmon, very simple, just salt and pepper and lemon juice, a perfect match. Excellent. About $22.
Imported by Vintage New World, San Miguel, Ca.