I had the opportunity recently to try two different Chardonnays – one from British Columbia and one from Ontario. These longtime rivals are at it again. This time the battle was waged between the See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2007 and the Niagara College (Teaching Winery) Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2006. Well, maybe not so much a battle as a lively debate between friends. I have to say that overall I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. The fact that these winemakers are putting their best into their wines was not lost on me.
The Chardonnay craze of the 1980s meant more plonk (let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?) was available than any of us really felt inclined to consume. Luckily, finding a great example of Chardonnay nowadays is a good deal easier. Most winemakers have taken the art of winemaking to new heights over the last couple decades.
Chardonnay comes oaked and unoaked. Full of aromas of tropical fruit flavours or buttery, nutty and toasted notes, Chardonnay is a winemaker’s dream grape. Whatever one wants it to be, it can be. Check out Matthew Sullivan’s “Dirty Chardonnay” in Tidings (Sept. 2009).
Tasting Notes – BC
See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2007
• loads of tropical fruit on the nose, like pineapple, guava and banana
• vanilla from the oaking
• citrus zest
Tasting Notes – ON
Niagara College (Teaching Winery) Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, St. David’s Bench 2006
• beautiful straw colour in the glass
• crème caramel