Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sherwood House Chardonnay 2004


Now, generally speaking, I like bright, brisk, clear, crisp chardonnays, more like Sauvingnon Blancs than near the buttery sur lees types. Give minerals. Give me rocks! But I make a few exceptions...and one of them is Sherwood House Chardonnay.

I have Sherwood House to my most finicky Francofile friends, who turn up their noses at US chardonnays. And I have not yet had one who wasn't completely taken aback and wholly surprised by the wonderful delicacy of Sherwood House's Chardonnay.

AT City Winery I thought I'd go see if I liked their chardonnay as much as I used to. And there was no question of it. It's lightly oaked, and smooth and tastey. There's still lots of fresh fruit, nice balance. I pined for food to go with it. But it was lovely in-and-of-itself!

Established in l996, Sherwood House Vineyards has been committed to the production of world class wines using only estate-grown vinifera grapes. Owners Dr. Charles Smithen and wife Barbara believe that producing fine wine is a combination of passion and patience, handcrafting their wines using traditional methods combined with the latest scientific techniques.

"There's very little nature and man can do in true harmony," says Dr. Smithen. "A vineyard is one of those things. Making wine requires both science and art to excel. Anyone can learn the science. But it's the art, the near-intuitive understanding, the smell, sense, and feel, that makes the difference."

There is a difference indeed.