Thursday, October 20, 2011

2009 Port of Leonardtown Winery, "1634" Chardonnay, Maryland

Terry post:

Those who know me and those who read my blogging know that I appreciate the challenges and efforts of small wineries who are working to determine which varietal grows where best and how coax the best wine from the grapes. I have particular interest in Maryland, Virginia as well as Iowa. For different reasons all are exciting grape growing areas where the jury is still out on which grapes are best suited to the soil and the climate.

My personal experience has been such that I have enjoyed Chamborcin, Vidal Blanc and Merlot in Virginia and Maryland and Brianna in Iowa. The coming decade will prove an interesting time as growers and consumers negotiate what they like and what they will try.

That brings me around to a Chardonnay grown in Maryland. There is always a challenge for any American winery when they enter into the realm of the varietals which are well-known and for which a certain expectation exists. This makes life challenging for the mid-Atlantic states when they create a produce which is well known and well understood by the wine drinking public but which is not optimized for the soil or the climate.

My impressions:

Pale yellow in the glass - lighter in color than most Chardonnays.

Bright citrus on the nose.

Overwhelming acidity across the the palate to the point where I couldn't taste anything beyond the acidity. Short tart finish.

I tried pairing the wine with creamy and butter-based sauces and found it's razor sharp finish too demanding of even the richest sauce Alfredo. Easily the most acidic tasting Chardonnay I have ever sampled.

I wished that I liked it more. I have drank three bottle and found that it did not vary in it's characteristics.

The Port of Leonardtown Winery is taking a big risk in growing Chardonnay in Maryland. I wish them every success. This offering is not up to their usual high standards of quality.

Not recommended.

$16ish at the winery.

~ Terry

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