I try not to consult the winemaker’s or wineseller’s notes on a particular wine when I’m looking for a new wine experience. Yes, I know they can prove helpful in finding things we think we’ll like based on the flavors we prefer and the wine experiences we’ve enjoyed in the past. I definitely find them useful when searching for a wine to accompany a particular meal or for an occasion. And I can’t completely ignore them if – as in some retailers – descriptors are posted with every selection. But since I don’t want all my wines to taste the same, I don’t pay close attention to them when I’m browsing.
I also try not to read the back label before drinking a wine on the chance that it’ll contain tasting notes. I don’t want my own experience to be affected by the suggestions of certain flavors and aromas being present. I don’t think I’m all that easily beguiled, but I like the idea of starting with a blank slate when experiencing a wine for the first time. And my experience has proved that, although often similar to what I taste, I don’t always agree with winemaker notes. In some cases their notes and mine are quite different. This wine is a case in point. You can read the importer’s/winemaker’s description by clicking on the picture. My notes are below. Like night and day almost. If you have tried this selection, I’d be interested in hearing what you found.
Appellation: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Price: $14.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: This Chilean Chardonnay was pale yellow in the glass with a faint bouquet of lanolin, citrus and spice. Acidity seemed good, and alcohol was at 13.5%. Flavors I found consisted primarily of clementine and grass with fleeting whispers of spice. I found it to be a somewhat restrained selection. Not the average New World Chardonnay. I liked it!
I am trying to mix things up here by not repeating too often back-to-back. In other words, I’m trying to jump around and taste wines from different areas and of different varieties each time. I hope that keeps the site fresh and interesting for folks who drop in. This time I did travel to South America again. [Remember, I travel by bottle on this blog.] However, I hopped over the Andes to Chile via Chardonnay.
It’s interesting the things one learns while preparing to blog about a wine. For instance, did you know that the word “terrenal” means “of the earth” and “curicó” reportedly means “black waters?” Thankfully, though, the names of the winery and the valley where the grapes were grown do not seem to have affected the characteristics of this wine in the least. Which is good, because I don’t know that I’d enjoy an earthy Chardonnay that was a deep pitch color in the glass. Here’s what I found instead.
Winemaker: Terrenal (Jose Pedro Gomez)
Appellation: Curicó Valley, Chile
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: This Chilean Chardonnay is very light-bodied and a pale yellow in the glass. On the nose I found citrus and ripe pear. Flavors for me were citrus aplenty with notes of pear and toasty oak, finishing on a zing of lemon grass. There is also just a touch of chalkiness. Acidity is fairly bright, and alcohol is at 13.5%. This wine is also kosher. I mentioned that the wine is light-bodied. Indeed, it is. If you want more viscosity (that coat-the-tongue feeling almost like oil) and/or a big, bold flavor profile that many Californian and Australian Chardonnays have become known for — this is not your Chardonnay. That being said, it is an AOK wine, and I think it will pair just fine with almost any seafood. And, it’s $4.99!
Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.