Sunday, January 31, 2010

2007 Auteur Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard

Ever since I visited Chicago and having an Aubert chardonnay at Craig's shop, Grand Cru Wine Merchants in Arlington Heights, IL, I have been craving a good glass of chardonnay. Thankfully, tonight was the night as Zelda was making a pasta recipe that called for a 1/2 glass of white wine. What a perfect excuse to pop one of these bad boys open. From what I remember, this very well may be our first Auteur white, but I cannot confirm that at the moment. This was pulled from the cellar and put into the refrigerator for about an hour before it was ready to serve to give it a good chill, which I really don't think it needed. Zelda however commented, and I can totally agree, that while this wine was cold, it had a lot of sauvignon blanc characteristics. As it warmed up however, it seemed to gain body and get heavier, and the chardonnay qualities began to shine. Once it warmed up in the glass, it had a great nose of lemon and lime, as well as hints of peach, honey, and some pineapple. There also seems to be a bit of alcohol on the nose, but it definitely didn't overpower the fruit. I am guessing that this will settle out with another year in the bottle. I am very surprised that we didn't notice more butter and oak on the nose, but that wasn't the case at all. The nose was very nice, which was bit surprising to me as I still consider this wine young. I also picked up a bit of nuttiness on the nose, reminiscent of a similar experience we have had with some sparkling wines and Champagnes. On the palate, this wine opened up very nicely, but what do you expect from a wine with Hyde Vineyard fruit? Tons of citrus on the palate, as well as another fruit that I cannot put my tongue on. There seems to be so much going on with the palate of this wine, and every time you swirl the glass, it is almost as though a new flavor is coming out. It is going to drive me crazy trying to think of the fruit that this reminds me of, but for the life of me, I cannot pull the name out of the air. Finally, on the finish, some lemon shines through, as well as a subtle hint of herb and a bit of spice. The finish has integrated nicely at this point, with some nice acidity. This will make a great summer sipper, but I think we'll try to hold off this summer and save the remaining bottles to get a bit of age on them. With time, this can be some classic California chardonnay, and a true treat. I don't think that at this point I would put it in the same class as a Kistler or Aubert, but I think it is just a matter of time that this wine could definitely achieve this potential. For now, it is just a step behind. All in all, a nice wine on a winter night in front of the fire. This is a perfect example of a chardonnay that I enjoy drinking, and this is made exactly how chardonnay should be made. 91 points now, with at least another point or two possible with some cellar time. Cheers!

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