Friday Blind – April 5

Friday Blind – April 5

Wine Number 1 is a white wine.

(Yes, you really do get a point for that, and you never leave a point on the table!)

The color is deep straw, but with a few flecks of green here and there. Viscosity is medium plus.

On the nose, the first category of fruit to emerge is orchard fruit: apple and pear. Still green apple, but the character less tart and acidic than our last wine: the fruit characteristics this time are ripe, not unripe. A few of our calls lean into candied fruit (peach rings, lemon curd or preserved lemon zest).

“Do we get any indication of oak?” Our M.S. asks. The general consensus: yes. “Indicated by what?” he presses us. There is a brief pause.

“The wood,” says Joe flatly.

We all laugh. In fact it’s vanilla and baking spices that tipped us off, and what I refer to as a general ‘bakeriness’. Alas, I have never been in the room when the tartes tatins are flaking and rising in the ovens of Bouchon Bakery in the morning, but I imagine it would smell a little something like this.

On the palate, the ‘bakeriness’ emerges further into the middle ground. The first descriptors to come forth are “vanilla”, “creamy”, “round”. “A well-made wine.”

Some colleagues begin to pick up on floral notes that weren’t noticeable before: honeysuckle, some citrus blossom. I ask if there could be some residual sugar: it doesn’t taste fully sweet, but despite agreeing on medium-plus acid, it’s being balanced out by something. The words “suspiciously soft” float around, summing it up perfectly.

The first guests of the day are to arrive soon, so we wrap up our blind tasting faster than usual.

I call chardonnay from the Napa Valley, 2020.

I’m two years off: It’s a 2018. I should have known from the bakeriness; and maybe the reason I suspected RS was because the acid is simply well enough integrated that it doesn’t overpower. Both of these point to age. But it is a chardonnay, and it is from Napa (sort of: Carneros spans both Napa and Sonoma counties).

The Wine: 2018 Rombauer ‘Proprietor Selection’ Carneros Chardonnay, $85 at current release.

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