Wrapping up Washington Wine Month for 2014 with a couple of Chardonnay wines. I believe the Jones of Washington 2013 Chardonnay is sourced from the Wahluke Slope AVA while Revelry Vintners 2012 Chardonnay is both Yakima Valley AVA & Wahluke Slope AVA. Basically the same ABV of 13.5%. Both are stainless steel fermented. 2013 was a much warmer vintage than 2012. I believe the Jones of Washington Chard didn’t go through ML. Both wine makers are in Walla Walla! Victor Palencia, alum of the WWCC Enology & Viticulture program I am currently completing, is wine maker for Jones of Washington (he also has his own winery here in town: an article about him). Jared Burns is Revelry Vintner’s owner and wine maker.
My partner in wine works with the owner of Jones of Washington for other crops, but they talk wine quite a bit when they visit. This week he arrived home with a couple of samples, so we opened the Chardonnay. Knowing Victor from his local winery puts a personal touch on that particular wine. I have met Jared Burns while tasting at Revelry and really enjoy his wines, but I know less about him.
Jones of Washington 2013 Chardonnay
In a word: cherimoya. The aroma, the texture, the flavor all remind me of this delicious fruit. Each spring I make an effort to get some while it is in season; Mark Twain considered it ‘the most delicious fruit known to man’. With a smooth, creamy texture and a cross of papaya and banana, maybe some light citrus notes I describe both the wine and the fruit. It has been nearly a year since we last shared a piece of fruit and I am now excited for the season to start! I really loved this wine with its nice crisply acidic finish.
Revelry Vintners Columbia Valley 2012 Chardonnay
Can’t quite sum up this wine in one word, but the crisp apple and peach aromas segue into a smooth, spiced apple slice with a twist of lemon in the mouth. When I first had it in the tasting room I was smitten, I brought my hubby back to taste a week later and, despite his original reticence about white wine, we brought home this bottle. That was still during fall harvest, which seems like a very long time ago although it was only six months. I made quinoa pilaf with mushrooms, garlic and winter savory that went very well with this wine this evening. Delightful wine.
It is remarkable how similar in many ways these wines are. The drastic differences in growing season temperatures (growing degree days) could probably account for the rounder, creamier, softer mouth feel of the Jones of Washington Chardonnay vs the more crisp Revelry Vintners. They are both excellent examples of what Washington State Chardonnay is. In February I was at WAGG (Washington Association of Grape Growers) and attended the Chardonnay workshop where California, Oregon and Washington Chardonnay wines were discussed and compared. Thankfully, we seem to have left the overly oaked Chardonnay behind us and wines like the two we had tonight are able to showcase the excellent fruit we have available to us.