Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wine: Cloudy Bay Chardonnay

Sunshine +  (slightly) warmer weather made me want to drink white wine. Shocking, I know. I had a chilled bottle of the Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2005 from Marlborough, New Zealand on hand and decided to give it a try. After all, I've been enjoying the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc for many years.

My tasting notes on Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2005:
Bright citrus fruits play against chalky minerality. Good crisp acidity provides a nice framework for the gentle oak and creamy texture, keeping the wine rich in the mouth but fresh. Long finish of toast.

I enjoyed the wine. It is well-balanced and moderately oaky compared to typical California chards. At $26 a bottle, it's a good Chardonnay to have on hand for the rare times we want to drink white wine.

Image from Cloudy Bay

Pairing

I wish I had some brunet (Italy, goat), a bloomy rind cheese known for its creamy texture and tanginess, to pair with this wine. The wine's rich texture and full bodied are suitable for a rich, but not overly luxuriant, cheese. For dinner, I paired the Chardonnay with wild mushroom ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce. The richness and moderate oak in the Chardonnay paired nicely with the light butter sauce and the wild mushrooms. The sage was a bit too overpowering for the wine, perhaps a Syrah or Zin would have been better. For Chardonnay with heavier oak and more butter, I would pair richer, cream based sauces or a triple cream brie.

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