Friday, August 3, 2007

Pudding River 2006 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

I had the opportunity to help winemaker Sean Driggers and his wife represent Pudding River Wine Cellars at the 2007 Portland Indie Wine Festival. There was a lot of buzz around their table, I think in part because so many other wineries were showing their reds, primarily pinot noir (we are indeed in pinot country). I couldn't taste the wines because I was working the show, but picked up a bottle of each to try at home.

Their 2006 chardonnay is somewhat unique in that it has a little residual sugar (1.2% to be exact). It's also fermented in 100% stainless steel, and goes through no malolactic fermentation. Quite an interesting wine. It has a fairly hefty body, but without the gravity that many chardonnays do that go through malo and oak ageing. I think the body here comes from the quality of the grapes, the residual sugar, and the higher than average alcohol content (14%). The wine has aromas of spiced pear, ripe apple, pie crust...a compote! The spice here reminds me of light mulled wine - nutmeg, cinnamon, that sort of thing. Really tasty in the mouth. The sweetness doesn't get in the way and is quite enjoyable, so long as the wine is served cool. As the night wore on and the temperature of the wine came up to near 70, it became a bit syrupy. No fault of the wine, just the wrong temperature to drink it. A really enjoyable wine. Only 12 cases of this were made, so this is truly indie wine material. If they still have some, go get it. $18 a bottle is a steal.
Remember to support the independent and small wineries!

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