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Wine Blog Wednesday – Naked Chardonnay

Wine Blog Wednesday

Although we have promised you a complete month of Portuguese wine, we will be taking a quick break today as a result of Wine Blog Wednesday. The theme, unoaked Chardonnay, is a subject we would have loved to have covered with a Portuguese wine, but unfortunately we don’t have one at hand. While in Portugal, we had shipped close to 100 bottles of Portuguese wine containing both oaked and unoaked Chardonnays, but unfortunately, the shipment still hasn’t arrived. If you look on Google Maps, you may even be able to see Ryan’s head peering out over our balcony singing Fado while waiting forlorn for our wines. So instead, we have brought you an unoaked Chardonnay from the heart of Cava country – Vilafranca de Penedes.

And although Chardonnay is not “technically” a native grape of the Penedes, it has been traditionally used as a Cava grape, rather than in table wines. Approximately 80% of all vineyards in the Penedes are planted with Chardonnay, Xarel.lo, Perellada and Macabeo for this specific reason. However, times have changed and now Penedès white wines are made from a mix of both local and French varieties. While some Chardonnays are barrel-fermented, there are an equal number that have been fermented in only stainless steel tanks.

Mas Tinell Chardonnay 2006

The 2006 Mas Tinell Chardonnay is from a small bodega founded in 1989 called, Herdade Mas Tinell. Renowned primarily for their cavas, they also produce four table wines, two of which contain chardonnay. This particular 2006 Mas Tinell Chardonnay, as said on the label, is the 604th bottle of the total, 15,904 produced primarily for the Spanish market. And at 7.50 Euros a bottle, I am very sad to say that you will most likely not be able to find this near you. A luminescent whitish green color with a great rich tropical nose, I enjoyed this wine. With bright fresh acidity and lush guava and pineapple flavors, I can imagine this wine as either a perfect pairing with a light goat cheese or even with Thai food.

For both Ryan and I, it is such a nice a refreshing change of pace to taste wines that don’t have that heavy, oakiness that leaves you feeling as if you’re alternating between sucking on the a popsicle stick or a vanilla bean. We look forward to seeking out some more unoaked chardonnays and will gladly report back on our findings!

Winemaker: Pere Rafeques y Eva Rafeques
Address: Ctra. de Vilafranca a Sant Martí Sarroca, km. 0,5, 08720 Vilafranca del Penedès
Telephone: +34 938 170 586
E-mail: [email protected]
Webpage: http://www.mastinell.com/

Thanks Lenn for the fun WBW theme and we look forward to 3 more years, at the minimum, of Wine Blog Wednesdays….

Cheers,

Gabriella and Ryan

Gabriella’s Tasting Note

Mas Tinell Chardonnay 2006
White wine produced by Heretat Mas Tinell in PENEDÉS, Spain
Note: Brilliant gold/green that sparkles ever so slightly in the light. Incredible fresh bouquet of tropical fruit and raw almonds. Bright acidity with a wonderful round mouthfeel that lingers on making you feel refreshed. It actually reminds me a bit of a Vinho Verde. Fun summer flavors of pineapple, guava and green grass on the palate. Great wine! 4/5

Rating: 4 (in 5)
(Tasted on August 8, 2007)

Ryan’s Tasting Note
Mas Tinell Chardonnay 2006
White wine produced by Heretat Mas Tinell in PENEDÉS, Spain
Note: Very light in color. The nose is a beautiful mix of pineapple, and citrus, with the faintest hint of nuttiness almost sitting in the background like an afterthought. Soft and light in the mouth, with a medium-soft acidity. Lemon, gravel and a light herbal note, almost cut grass come in. Very clean and delicate Chardonnay, not showing a ton of body. This wine screams oysters to me and reminds me somewhat of a entry level Burgundy. 3.5/5
Food pairing: oysters, white fish
Rating: 3 (in 5)
(Tasted on August 8, 2007)