Greetings once again dear reader, and as you have patiently awaited with baited breath no doubt (actually, I doubt that) for my third of four exciting reviews in the muchas delicioso (better not talk like that in Arizona...) 2010 Inniskillin Summer Series, I am pleased to present their next star: Chardonnay! Come on out, Char!

(Wasn't there a TV show called Sonny and Char? Anyway!)
It has been a pleasure thus far to not only indulge myself, but you hopefully too, with these fun, simple reviews, just giving you a basic idea of what the wines taste like, and what my nickel and dime opinion is when it comes to pairing.
But rather than me yammering around about trivial matters, let's get to the business of the hour!

Namely the history of Chardonnay over five leather bound volumes! Naw...but Chardonnay, according to Wiki, is believed to have originated in France (bvut of cooorze), specifically in the Burgundy region, and has been cultivated for centuries. Today it has been cloned into over 34 (zut alors!) different varietals; talk about choice!

So, yeah, the wine!

For the record, I chilled this for 15 minutes in the ice box (no, don't put it in the freezer, I just meant the fridge). Also for the record, the grapes grown and used in this baby were reaped over three vineyards at the Inniskillin estate (hence the "Three Vineyards" labelling), and were aged in both French and American oak barrels, which of course instills some flavour in the vino. It is, of course, also a VQA wine (not sure what VQA means? I present to you: GOOGLE search!).

This gem is naturally corked, and upon pouring, it has a light pale yellow hue, almost of light gold...this is indeed 24 karat wine! The glass becomes lightly coated (which is good considering it's almost Fall...that was a weather/jacket joke folks) upon swishing merrily about the glass.

The nose is, to continue the above Fall motif briefly, wonderfully florally/appley, which is round (meaning it's complete and not lacking), and is a little sweet, with medium strength.

The beauty however, is in the body! Or, taste. One gets a nice taste of apple, with little to no tartness. This is not an overly oaken, nor buttery Chardonnay, which pleases me to no end as I'm not a huge fan of that genre. Medium bodied and fairly clean on the tongue (because cleanliness is next to Godliness), it is a very very nice white, and is dry, but not overly so, and is very easy to drink and enjoy. The aftertaste kept up the "appleyness," and had a little zing, and was slightly drier, but still tres bien.

Our resident expert - the bottle label - pronounces thusly in regards to taste, and as always, I trust their taste more than my own, but you will taste whatever you pick up; there is no right or wrong:
"The wine has aromas of tropical fruit, vanilla and toasty oak. On the pallet, the wine is well balanced with stone fruit flavours and a smooth, buttery finish."
Behold: dinner!

Yes, the above is what I had the good fortune to enjoy with this wonderful wine, made by my equally and above wonderful wife! (For the record, in case you're wondering, "Gee Matt of Matt's Wine Not!, do you ever make dinner?" For the answer, all you'd need look at is the current cereal I have, and that'd be dinner. So, no, no I don't.)

Dinner that evening was indeed chicken (bok), done with honey and Dijon and garlic (mmm) in the oven, with green beans, and focaccia bread with onion and tomato: quite the gourmet feast!

The wine went beautifully with this food: the slight acid zing of the Char helped smooth the flavours of the chicken and honey, and the bread smoothed out the wine in an equally complimentary manner.

This is a wine I would enjoy afternoon or evening: I'd have it with cheese and crackers because of its drinkability, and in the evening with dinner with perhaps white meats with cream sauce (so the wine can do its "smoothing" work), or even spicier foods like Thai.

As an earlier confessed not-so-great-a-fan of heavier Chardonnays that are too buttery or oaky, this one is a definite winner. Like the Pinot Gris from Inniskillin I reviewed, it too has a crisp, delicious bite, and its apple notes and slight sweetness, despite being dry, leaves one refreshed. It is done perfectly in the oak barrels, and is medium bodied, but light; sweetish but crisp. Pick up a bottle (or two) today.

*** 1/4 out of 4

Available at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$16.95 (US$16.51).

From LCBO.com:

INNISKILLIN WINEMAKER'S SERIES THREE VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY 2008, 750 mL bottle

  • LCBO/Vintages #105379
  • Wine, White Wine
  • 13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
  • Sugar Content: XD
  • Made in: Ontario, Canada
  • By: Vincor International Inc.
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