Monday, January 20, 2014

(Yes, it is good) 2008 Fogdog chardonnay


My, my, is it good. And I say this not only because the very kind people at Fogdog sent me a new bottle to replace my first, which was corked. I say it because it tastes delicious.

It has a light, beautiful yellow color, the color of pear flesh, a light scent of caramel and maybe nutmeg, a light rich flavor of caramel, just in the middle of your mouthful. And the rest is a splash of juiciness, in which you enjoy the rest of the dripping ripe pear. Can acidity be luxurious?

It seems to me that these types of chardonnays are the hardest to find -- those that achieve a lovely balance between banana syrup, Bit-o-Honey (read oak-loaded) thick sweetness, and those that are -- or that once seemed to me -- all steel-tank acids and high-alcohol "heat." (Would you care to trip down memory lane, and watch me cope with Kunde Estate's "Nu" chardonnay when I was still more clueless that I am now? No? Me neither. No wonder my anonymous commenter at the time was puzzled.) That most desirable chardonnay balance is, well, just like Fogdog's, I think. The lightest dollop of caramel, on the cut end of a fresh ripe pear. Alcohol, 13.5%, which strikes me as quite normal now.

And yet the vintage had fourteen months in French oak barrels, which strikes me as plenty of time in which to take up banana-and-Bit-o-Honey thickness. But wait -- of all Freestone vineyards' chardonnays, the 2008 Fogdog seems to have had the least amount of time in new oak. (The fresher the oak, the more pronounced the candylike effects.) Does that account perhaps for its lightness and, to me, balance, and does that also partly account for its price? It seems to be the least expensive chardonnay the estate offers. New oak barrels are dear to procure ....  


I wait anxiously for the Kunde Anonymous to return, and set me straight once more.

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