Tuesday, September 20, ushered in two birthdays. We were hosted by John and Jane Thompson. John Thompson and Bob Jones celebrated their birthdays that evening. We won’t tell everyone how old. The Thompsons chose Chardonnay for the evening’s theme.
Five different wines were brought, of course concealed in foil. We had a tie for third and a tie for second. Our third place winners were a Benzinger Chardonnay and Grapevine’s Wine Fusion Chardonnay.
The Benzinger Chardonnay is a bright, clean wine with excellent balance between fruit and structure. Flavors include ripe peach and pear with notes of vanilla. Barrel aging contributes a round, satisfying mouthfeel with subtle, toasty oak notes. The Wine Fusion Chardonnay is a blend of grapes from Lodi, California. It is an unoaked Chardonnay giving it a distinctively different taste. Wine Fusion, however, is a great place to go and taste, and their sharable appetizers are terrific.
The two wines tied for second are Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and Sola Chardonnay. Sola chardonnay has aromas of peach and green apple. This wine is medium bodied with elegant and complex flavors of melon, apple and subtle vanilla. It is clean with a slightly creamy elegant finish.
It was interesting to note that the winner and second place was Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Why it happens that way is a real mystery. However, the Kendall Jackson bottle that came in second was the first to be served. The Kendall Jackson that won was the fourth to be served. I can only conclude it is because at that point we had had some appetizers or simply it was that we had had more wine. You can draw your own conclusions. Kendall Jackson Chardonnay is fruit-forward, divinely complex, approachable and exceptionally food-friendly. Tropical flavors such as mango, papaya and pineapple with citrus notes, delicately intertwined with aromas of green apple and pear to create depth and balance. I know it is my go-to Chardonnay for most occasions.