This month, Wine Blogging Wednesday goes right back where it started from. WBW creator, Lenn Thompson is hosting once again and has given us a fitting assignment: Back to Your Roots. Right away I’m in trouble because I have no roots. My family has no roots. I was born in Canada, grew up in California, and currently reside in New England. My maternal grandmother doesn’t know what town her parents were born in. I stammer when people ask me “where are you from” and expect a succinct answer. But, we’re talking about wine so my itinerant personal history should be less of a factor. Let me see now…Wine roots--shouldn’t be difficult…Right, so...Scarcely over a decade since I turned 21…roots, roots, roots...I got nothin’!
Okay, maybe not nothing: I did a stint as a hostess when I was 22 working in a bistro which boasted a very extensive port collection; in fact, the largest selection of Port wine (dating back to 1896) on the West Coast—pretty impressive. I had the opportunity to taste several very good, and quite old ports while working there. So, roots? Yes, perhaps... But, when it came to shelling out $50 for a 20 year old Tawny Port for WBW, I wasn’t really feeling it.
So, what’s left then?
You guessed it: California Chardonnay.
My parents usually kept a bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge when I was growing up. Chardonnay is the first wine I remember trying. Kendall Jackson is the first brand I can remember liking.
So, I’m at the wine shop last weekend, and not feeling particularly excited about the prospect of buying a bottle of Kendall Jackson just for WBW. So I decided my approach would be to buy a California Chardonnay using the same selection criteria I would have used way back in the mid-nineteen-nineties when I first began purchasing wine. Those criteria were: a) Under $9.99 b) Attractive Name and/or Label c) Not Fetzer/Gallo.
I found a Russian River Chardonnay that met my stringent guidelines: Angeline 2006. We love visiting the Russian River by the way. We haven’t been to many of the wineries there but, Hop Kiln stands out in my memory. Also, Chai Baba chai.
Angeline Chardonnay 2006
AVA: Russian River
Aromas: Butter, pear, mushroom
Flavors: Mineral, peach, pear, butter, strawberry
Summary: The label declares a hint of oak, and they are true to their word. Some butter is there but it’s definitely not a butter-bomb. This wine has a surprisingly mineral mid-palate for a Chardonnay with a round, fruity, medium-length finish. Great with chicken; bit of a let down with cheese and crackers. Still, it’s a decent bottle for under $10 and certainly a nice alternative to Kendall Jackson or Yellowtail that I would recommend trying in place of either of those.