2009 Virginia Chardonnay Tasting, Part 1

Since the rib and I left the Virginia Wine Expo last weekend with seven bottles of 2009 Virginia Chardonnays, we thought it would be fun to host a tasting party and try them all at one time.  A week removed from the intense tasting weekend in Richmond, we did just that last Saturday night.

We decided to do something a little different and tasted the wines blind.  It was a new experience for most of the group and was generally a success.  Today, I will run through our tasting party’s notes on the first four Chardonnays we tasted.  I am listing the wines in the order in which we poured them.  With the exception of the one bottle we finished Saturday evening, I vacuum-sealed each bottle and tasted each wine again Sunday afternoon, so my notes are based on tasting across two days.  Although my notes were fairly consistent over the two days, I acknowledge any changes in the wine from Saturday night into Sunday afternoon.

We tasted the following 2009 Chardonnays:

1.  Saudé Creek Vineyards Chardonnay

2.  Piedmont Vineyards Hunt Country Chardonnay

3.  Well Hung Everyday Chardonnay

4.  Rosemont of Virginia Chardonnay

5.  Jefferson Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve

6.  Well Hung Very Well Hung Chardonnay

7.  Annefield Vineyards Chardonnay


1.  Saudé Creek Vineyards Chardonnay, 2009

I got mostly grapefruit on the nose.  There was definitely grapefruit on the palate along with some lemon peel.  There were also some nice mineral notes.  The alcohol on this one was a little harsh until it warmed a bit; after being out of the fridge for a while, it was much better.  This one had a nice, lingering, tropical finish.  Tasting the next day, I got a little apple and orange peel on the nose.  The fruit on the palate was clean and crisp, and I sensed a touch of vanilla.  This wine finished well and cleanly.

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

– Nose:  Apple, grapefruit, floral notes, citrus, lemon, chemically, pear, fruity, woody, citrus

– Palate:  Mineral, metallic, acetone-esque, non-oak, fizz, tough, sweet, light, crisp, minerally, citrus, “nail polish remover-y,” vanilla, acid

– Finish:  Clean, apple, alcohol, bright, bite, syrupy, minerally


2.  Piedmont Vineyards Hunt Country Chardonnay Reserve, 2009

This one had a nice citrus on the nose, along with a slight oak and butter.  On the palate, I got a little oak, some butter, and orange peel.  This wine finished with a slight burn.  The following day, I still got butter on the nose.  The palate revealed muted tropical fruits and buttery flavors.  The finish reminded me somewhat of medicine.

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

– Nose:  More subtle than #1, bright, honeysuckle, oak, sweet, burnt sugar, not too Chardonnay-y, vanilla, pear, berries

– Palate:  Sweet, mellow, pear, lemon, smooth, buttery, little aftertaste, buttery, citrus, oak, vanilla

– Finish:  Syrup, doesn’t linger, falls away, lingering, smoother than #1, sweet finish


3.  Well Hung Everyday Chardonnay, 2009

This one had pear on the nose and reminded me of clean sheets straight from the dryer.  On the palate, I got some apple and pear, along with a little wood and vanilla.  There was a little tartness and the structured acid that kept it all together nicely.  The following day, I got tropical fruit and vanilla on the nose.  The palate still showed apple and pear, but the oak and vanilla notes were a bit stronger.  There was a distinct citrus on the palate that I didn’t get the night before.  This wine finished cleanly with pleasant citrus notes.

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

– Nose:  Tropical fruit, fruity, green pepper, flower, pepper, none, fruity, minerally, berry

– Palate:  (More) acidic, lemon, brief butter, butter, pepper, coconut, vanilla, buttery, fruit, lemon, slight bitterness

– Finish:  Acidic, bland, quick death, acid, smooth, clean, acid finish, alcohol finish


4.  Rosemont of Virginia Chardonnay, 2009

The Rosemont had a nice pineapple and citrus on the nose.  I got a little grapefruit and maybe some wood on the palate.  This one had some decent acid, but the finish was almost nonexistent.  The following afternoon, I got a tropical nose with hints of lemongrass.  The palate was full of citrus that I took as orange peel and lime.  The finish was full of tropical fruit and lingered a bit longer the next day.

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

– Nose:  Pineapple, lemon, fruity, floral, none

– Palate:  Grapefruit, metallic, bright, needle, not thick, acid, citrus, acid, buttery

– Finish:  Vanilla, easy, sparkly, higher alcohol content, not much, alcohol, buttery, lemony


Check back tomorrow to read the rest of the notes on the remaining three wines we tasted Saturday night.  I’ll also reveal the wines our tasting party chose as their favorites.


From the CorkPit,





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