Wine: Kunde Chardonnay
Region: Sonoma Valley, California
Grapes involved: Chardonnay
Color: a sort of nice, slightly buttery golden yellow
Cost: $12.99-$17.99 or so
Notes from the label: tastes of ripe pears, crisp apples and toasty oak; pairs with fresh green salads, seafood*, or roast chicken and veggies.
Food pairings: as suggested above, really – this is definitely a “chicken” wine to me.
My notes: The Kunde Chardonnay has a nose of oak, toast,** pear, and apple. Here’s the thing with this list, though – I don’t know for sure that this is what I would have come up with without the label notes. With the label notes, I could smell the wine and think “okay, that all makes sense.” I feel like I was sort of biased ahead of time, like I was playing hide and seek with the flavors rather than making my own judgments, and I don’t really like that. I think what I’m going to do is only allow myself to look at label notes once I’ve finished with my own reviewing notes, so that I can overlay what I think onto what the amorphous “they” thinks and see how my guesses stand up to expert opinions. Long story short: the label notes work for me here. I agree.
Flavor-wise, there’s an initial hit of what I suppose is “toasty oak,” now that I know that’s what they call it, along with pear and/or apple (I have the hardest time distinguishing those sometimes – this is some sort of apple-pear mélange, maybe). And maybe there’s a touch of something slightly peachy. It’s dry, with a medium, smooth mouthfeel. Not a ton of acidity. Very long finish.
I had this with the chicken stew that was made with the Nathanson Creek Chard, among other things. The stew was fantastic with the Kunde Chard, so I’m thinking I’ll post the recipe. After all, it wouldn’t be a wine blog without foodiebits, would it?
Would I order it again? Absolutely, if I were making something similar to chicken stew for dinner, because it was a really good pairing. I’m not sure I’m all that big on Chardonnays, however – I got to taste my first Sauvignon Blanc in roughly four months today at work and was forcibly reminded that Sauvignon Blanc has this happy citrus-y zing!*** that I adore beyond all reason, a zing! which Chardonnay lacks and which I find myself missing. However, I can also say that the Kunde is one of the best Chards I’ve ever had (not that it has a ton of competition), so this is definitely something I would go for were a Chard what I was going for.
Fun Tidbit: this wine won a Best Buy tag and 90 Points from Wine & Spirits, along with some other awards. The winery has gotten all kinds of recognition for being environmentally friendly and using sustainable growing practices. Yay!
*This is the point where I got sick of transcribing the “insert adjective before noun” part of the marketing copy. Putting an adjective before *every* noun is flat-out bad writing.
**It had for seriously never occurred to me before this that when a label tells me something smells/tastes like “toasty oak” or “toast” anything, they really do mean toast. Like, toast-for-breakfast toast. Real toast. Bread toast. I’m used to finding toasty notes in beer, but that’s always made sense to me because beer vaguely resembles bread in my mind. Toast was never anything I expected to find in wine. I don’t know what I thought I was looking for, but toast-like-actually-toast wasn’t it.
I’m kind of a dumbass sometimes.
***Long-time readers of my beer blog will know something of my irritation with what I refer to as Extraneous Exclamation Point Syndrome. I recognize that by adding the extraneous exclamation point to my zing, I am in fact adding to the problem. However, Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t just zing, it zings WITH JAZZ HANDS. The extraneous exclamation point is therefore necessary. Deal.