Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: At HOME with Kenneth Volk Chardonnay

It was the rare - and I mean RARE - Memorial Day weekend in the Winey Household: nothing to do for three whole days! Oh, this doesn't sound rare to you? Well, we here in Winey World have raised two Winey children. Both of whom play/ed travel sports. So if we weren't in West Virginia over the 4th of July for a baseball tournament, we were in Erie, PA over Memorial Day for a soccer tournament. You can go ahead and substitute the following cities for any of the above: Columbus, Holmdel NJ, Washington DC (try negotiating THAT traffic on Memorial Day weekend), Indianapolis, Dayton and Toledo.

But this year, with the Winey son in training at West Point, and the Winey daughter's travel soccer team taking the weekend off, we were given the gift of three whole days together, at home (Cadet was with us in spirit)! The weather was looking great, too. The weekend started off very nicely with a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art to take in the Rembrandt exhibit (very civilized, don't you think?) and a showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (very enjoyable). The next day found many little chores getting done outside, as well as plenty of hammock time (with requisite trashy magazine). The next night, The Winey Mother in Law came over for the second barbeque of the weekend, and she brought along a bottle of wine. How very very civilized as well....(OK, when she asked what she could bring I said "wine", but still, she is a nicely civilized person).

Her choice was  2007 Kenneth Volk Vineyards Santa Maria Cuvee Chardonnay (14.2%, California). Since the Santa Maria Valley is well known for the wonderful Chardonnay grapes it produces, Volk takes grapes from the best vineyards there (Kenneth Volk Vineyard Estate Vineyard, Sierra Madre Vineyard, and Bien Nacido Vineyard) and blends them together. He also uses a really cool barrel racking system for his Chards, the OXO barrel racking system. So instead of stirring the wine when it's aging in its oak barrel (which requires that the stopper on the barrel - the bung - be removed, letting in some not so desired oxygen), the barrels are actually spun on the racks. They admit that this is a faster, more efficient and much more fun way of flavoring the wines as they age. Seems to me you also get to burn off the calories before you drink the wine - win-win there.

So now you've learned something, you educated Winey reader. Let me tell you about the wine. The aroma is rich with pears and melons. It tastes of warm oak and pear with some apple floating around in there as well. It has a full feel in your mouth - not thick - it's more like a heavy silk feeling. We kept it chilled on the table as we ate, and it was just perfect alongside my (self proclaimed) amazing turkey and cheese burgers. It was just as good later on when the s'more making began.

The wine runs around $20 a bottle. The Memorial Day weekend of family time was priceless!!

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