Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Everything But The Chard


The California Wine Show was in Ottawa on its annual tour this week. This time around, I carefully studied and plotted a route on my map, checked the map against the list in the catalogue, checked the list against the layout at the door. Because this time I had a plan and I was sticking to it.

Whites. Everything but Chardonnay. (Ok, so I tried *one* Chardonnay, but it was so lively, zesty and fun it hardly qualifies in the same league as the over-oaked cedar boxes that usually dominate the market.)

And if I had time for reds, anything but cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir.  So what else does Cali do other than the Big Three? Here's what:


Dry Creek 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley; 14% abv; retail $18USD) - This winery was the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the valley, and have been pretty successful with it. Delicate flowers on the nose with only a hint of citrus; mineral palate of flint and wet stone; dry and crisp all the way through.

Line 39 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County; 13% abv; retail $11USD) - The 39th parallel runs right through the vineyards that give this brand its name beneath the Cecchetti Wine Company banner. It explodes with classic citrus but has a fuller body and softened acids. Ends on an off-dry, sweet-lemon note.

Pine Ridge 2013 Chenin Blanc / Viognier (Sacramento River Valley; 12.5% abv; retail $15USD) - Planted as an experiment in the early '90s, this blend has become one of Pine Ridge's best sellers. Aromas of musk melon, steel, grapefruit and pith, contrasted by a medium-bodied, silky palate and tempered acidity. Angular zestiness finished round and full, a bit creamy, and overflowing with complex fruit and floral notes.

Eberle 2012 Viognier (Paso Robles; 15% abv; Vintages 313478 $20.95) - One-third fermented in stainless steel, two-thirds in French oak, then blended and aged for five months in more French oak. Classic profile dominated by floral notes; smells like lavender hand soap, actually. Mouth feel is slippery, viscous, with loads of tropical fruit and heavy alcohol. Smoky and musky on the finish.

Lost Angel 2013 Moscato (Central Coast; 11.6% abv; retail $10USD) - A lively blend of Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Semillon fermented and aged in stainless steel. A fun wine best sipped al fresco, in the heat of the late afternoon sun. Ahhh ...

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