Drinking Now: 2012 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a white wine varietal, originally from the Burgundy region of eastern France, like Pinot Noir, and is actually now grown all over the world from England to New Zealand to Oregon.

Chardonnay, perhaps one of the most enjoyed yet snubbed varietals to date. It is now coming back with vengeance due to the efforts of the Oregon Wine industry. Chardonnay is quickly becoming the other wine varietal that Willamette Valley is becoming known for.

The Chardonnay grape itself tends be quite neutral but can be heavily influenced by terroir and oak. It can be vinified in various styles, from crisp and lean mineral wines of Chablis, France to the New World style with oak, butter and hints of tropical flavors.

2012 Cornerstone Oregon, Willamette Valley Chardonnay

2012 Cornerstone Oregon, Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: 

Today, I am enjoying a 2012 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Chardonnay on a hot summer day in Portland, Oregon.  I held onto this Chardonnay because I knew it would evolve beautifully with time.

Color: Pale hay color

Nose: Citrus, pineapple, apricot, touch of butter, and green apple

Palate: Lemon lime, mineral, vanilla, green apple with a nice long finish. Medium plus acidity.

Overall: Classically styled yet modern Chardonnay with the right amount of acidity, touch of butter and diverse palate (it is sourced from great regions of the Willamette Valley from Yamhill- Carlton to Chehalem Mountain AVAs). It has the minerality of Chehalem, yet the body you would expect from Yamhill- Carlton.

 

Basics:

Appellation: Willamette Valley

Vintage: 2012

Aging: 15 months in French Oak barrels, 28% new, 100% Malolactic Fermentation.

Vineyards: Carabella, Gran Moraine, Willakia

Bottled: February 2014

Pairing: With the light touch of butter, this would pair wonderfully with a cold shrimp cocktail and crab legs. A perfect summer lunch wine.

Price: $40

Cases produced: 300

Drinking Now: Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc #NZSavvy

Wednesdays are known as #WineWednesday or #WW (hashtag WW) and are therefore the best days to hold what the wine industry calls Wine Chats or #winechat. These wine chats are held every Wednesday for an hour starting at 5:00 pm or 6:00pm PST/ 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm EST. Wine chats are meant to be educational and informative tools for not just wine bloggers but for those following them as a chance to learn more about wines within 1 hour though two-way communication between a winery/winemaker and hand-selected wine bloggers.

My first wine chat was through Protocol Wine Studio based in San Diego where we did a tasting of Argentinean wines. Following that I did another tasting for a series of Malbecs for Malbec World Day in April this year. Yesterday, I had the sincere pleasure of joining a Villa Maria New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine chat under the #NZSavvy. The purpose of a hashtag is to make it easier to follow a conversation from start to finish and join in on the conversation whether you have the wine in front of you or not. I personally use a tool such as TweetDeck which automatically updates me on the #winechat stream as it happens. In order to remain a part of the conversation, you have to  make sure to include the all important # word that is being used specifically for that tasting. This way everyone on the stream can see you.

Make sure to check out the #winechat schedules for Protocol. There are also a few coming up in the upcoming weeks including one next week on Santa Barbara wines on Wednesday, June 25, just look for the #sbcwines or follow them on twitter @sbcwines.

Below you can see the chaos as it ensues…. glass of wine, wine notes, laptop and cell phone. All necessary elements of a #winechat.

 

The #NZSavvy #winechat begins!

The #NZSavvy #winechat begins!

Last night I tried two Sauvignon Blancs from Villa Maria, both of which were beautifully refreshing change to what I have been currently drinking. I currently live in the world of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris with a little Riesling and Chardonnay thrown in there from time to time. I welcomed the grassy, grapefruit and citrus palate like a refreshing wind on a summer day.

Honestly, it was really hot yesterday and I couldn’t have asked for a more refreshing drink. Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand holds a special place in my heart as it is such a clearly distinctive palate that no other Sauvignon Blanc that I’ve tasted tastes like.  To me, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has this fresh-cut green grass, almost asparagus nature to it, not in a bad way but in a delicate and refreshing way.

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Marlborough is located at the top of the South Island in New Zealand. With over 23,600 hectares of planted vines, it is the largest wine growing region of New Zealand and primarily known for its world-class Sauvignon Blanc.

Marlborough enjoys high sunshine hours and a temperate climate which allows for  a long slow, flavor-intensifying ripening period.  Warm days and cool nights help keep the acid in wines high. The soil type is noticeably stony, sandy loam top soil with deep layers of shingle, this allows for fast draining and therefore low fertility soils. The one thing you always want for vines is to have them suffer a bit, this creates the complexity that can not be achieved solely through winemaking. It is a combination of the land, the weather of each vintage and the winemaker’s hand that can make any wine truly unique.  In this case, the two below wines are highly recommended a true treat on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

2014 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

It really sings in the glass, highly aromatic with fresh-cut green grass, lime, kiwi and ruby-red grapefruit with a long-lasting finish and crisp acidity. This is a special early release. At $14.99, it would pair beautifully with some oysters.

2013 Villa Maria Cellar Selection

With a bit more time in bottle and allowing the wine to warm up a little, the nose just jumps out at you with lychee, grapefruit, green grass. In the mouth, passion fruit attacks your palate with a clean crisp acidic finish of a lemon-lime-grapefruit sorbet. Really quite delightful. Retail on this is $19.99.

I keep wishing I had some nice seafood, like a pan-fried fish, oysters, scallops and a side of seasonal vegetables, to pair it with but a beautiful view from my new place full of boxes and my trusty French Bulldog, El Guapo, will have to suffice for now. He really wanted some!  Cheers!

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Drinking Now: 2013 Corallina Rosé of Syrah by Cornerstone Napa

Every now and then, I have the amazing luck of being a blogger that gets wine sent to them. While you aren’t required to write about it, there is this unspoken rule in the wine world that if you receive a bottle of wine and like it, you should write about it.

Simple enough but sometimes you grab a bottle and enjoy it with so much relish that you forget to write about it.

Such is the case for not just me but also my thirsty German husband who attacked the bottle and then called me later to ask if it was ok. As you can see from the bottle, I was left enough to enjoy on this beautiful Oregon day.

I’m starting a short series of blog posts dedicated to those wines I am currently drinking and thoroughly enjoying. In my opinion, if I haven’t written about them, it’s simply because 1) I honestly haven’t gotten around to them yet, or 2) I’d rather write something positive or nothing at all.

Some of the wines, or rather, most, are wines I have purchased myself, others have been gifted to me by the wonderful UPS or FedEx man who asks for my signature and asks if I’m over 21.

Yes!

I say, and gladly sign as I’m as excited as a child to rip open the box like a gleeful school child waiting to see what is wrapped up in those square-shaped amazing cardboard boxes!

All silliness aside, please enjoy this wine as much as I have. And, yes, this is a GoVino glass, as we are in the middle of packing our home up for an upcoming move and it’s the next best thing to a regular glass. Plus, it won’t break and you can still enjoy the wine as it should be. Enjoy and cheers!

Cornerstone Napa Valley 2013 Corallina Rose of Syrah:
Color and Nose: Pale melon color with light cantaloupe & strawberry nose
Mouth: Medium acidity with a candied watermelon and cherry finish

Great on a warm, sunny day with a view! Cheers!

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