2009 Virginia Chardonnay Tasting, Part Deux

5.  Jefferson Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve, 2009

I got a little oak and butter on the nose of this one.  There was some butter and oak on the palate as well.  At first sip, the buttery palate seemed somewhat “fake,” but as the wine warmed a bit, it was much more subtle and pleasant.  The alcohol also seemed a bit heavy until the wine warmed a bit from being chilled.  The following day, the Jefferson had the same wood and butter on the nose, but also some nice lemongrass notes.  I got nice lemon-butter and pineapple notes on the palate.  The Jefferson Chardonnay had a nice acid that was smooth and held the wine together well.

Here are some unfiltered descriptions people used during Saturday’s tasting:

– Nose:  Fruity, hint of butter, pineapple

– Palate:  Vanilla, pear, sweet, fruity, bit of butter, clean, intense, buttery

– Finish:  Smooth, clean, slight residual, less acid, crisp, lemony


6.  Well Hung Very Well Chardonnay, 2009

The Very Well Hung had a nice nose of lemon zest with slight butter notes.  There were fairly heavy oak and pineapple notes on the palate.  This wine had a nice mouthfeel and a very long finish.  I did not have the opportunity to taste this wine the following afternoon, as the entire bottle was consumed Saturday evening.

Here are some unfiltered descriptions people used during Saturday’s tasting:

– Nose:  Mulch, coffee, feet, earthy, coffee, smoke, old coffee, oaky

– Palate:  Smoky, earthy, chocolate, mocha, toasted, not fruity, feet, buttery, spicy

– Finish:  Oak, coffee, smooth, cheese


7.  Annefield Vineyards Chardonnay, 2009

The Annefield displayed some good citrus on the nose.  There was nice citrus, pear, apple, and pineapple on the palate.  I also got a slight oak and a little butter, but it was not at all overbearing.  As the wine warmed, the wood and butter came across more as vanilla than oak.  This wine finished with a lingering “tropicalness.”  The following day, the nose came across with some nice pineapple and citrus.  The palate was similar—pineapple and citrus—with a little lemon peel added in.  I feel like this wine finished a little “heavier” than sipping it would suggest, which served to add to its character and enjoyment.

Here are some unfiltered descriptions people used during Saturday’s tasting:

– Nose:  Citrus, vanilla

– Palate:  Citrus, popcorn, sweet, butter, mushroom, honey, very buttery, thick

– Finish:  Acidic, butter, high alcohol, bite, nice, lingering taste



While preferences among the group varied, there were a few standouts after all seven wines were tasted.

Jefferson’s Chardonnay Reserve was the favorite of 4 of the 9 members of our tasting group.

Well Hung Vineyards’ Very Well Hung Chardonnay was the favorite of 3 of the 9 members of our tasting group.

One member of the group picked Well Hung’s Everyday Chardonnay as their favorite.

While I personally enjoyed all seven of the wines, I feel there was a couple that merited special mention:

In my opinion, the Annefield Chardonnay was the standout among this flight of wines.  I really enjoyed the fruit and hint of vanilla on this wine.  Everything just worked together in the bottle.  This is not (as most of these wines are not) a typical “California-style” Chardonnay that is full of butter and oak; this one is more characteristic of a white Burgundy and I feel like it represents a more complete expression of the Chardonnay grape.

I also thought the Rosemont and Saudé Creek showed well.  Both of the Well Hung selections were very nice, although I preferred the cleaner, more crisp Well Hung Everyday over the Very Well Hung, which displayed more oaky notes.

That said, I found all seven of the wines to be nicely made and would not hesitate to drink any of them again.

From the Corkpit,


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