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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Forgeron Cellars 2007 Chardonnay, A Columbia Valley, WA highlight!

Well the Second annual Wine Bloggers Conference had come and gone and the third one is fast approaching, just about three month away. Last years conference was my first one to attend and it certainly will not be my last, as I have already made my plans to attend this year’s conference and I can hardly wait. It's been far too long since I've been to the Washington State wine region.

The first reason I choose this wine for review is twofold, one it’s a great example of what a Chardonnay should taste like, balanced. It's no Chateau Two by Four, but it's also not a recent adherent to the ABC [anything but Chardonnay] movement and their "no more oak" mantra. This wine stradles those two divergent view points masterfully and brings "balance" front and center.

The second reason I am reviewing this wine is because of the upcoming third annual Wine Bloggers Conference 2010  which will be held in wonderful Walla, Walla, Washington this year and I wanted to take this opportunity to review a few of the wines of this region.

Walla Walla, I'm going to highly recommend that you'd better come out with Guns Blazin' [in contrast to last years WBC 09] and from what I've read about the upcoming conference, this is exactly what they have planned. WBC 10 has a super line-up of wineries to visit, grand tastings to attend, speaker and seminars to re-charge our batteries and bring focus to a region which deserves the spotlight.

Last years Conference: Okay if you’re wondering why I've made such a recommendation [as I did above], then obviously you were not at the last conference or you drank far too much wine and couldn't recall what a great event it was. However if you find yourself nodding in agreement you were one of the participants lucky enough to be treated to a first-class presentation about what makes Napa and Sonoma such a wonderful place to grow vines and make mind-altering wines.

There is only one way to describe this event, if you will pardon the expression a "wine orgy" pretty much sums it up, I know you maybe thinking "c'mon" a wine-orgy, really? Yep that's right there is just no other way to describe it!  Wine, wine everywhere and every minute of the day, a tsunami of wine [not your garden variety bulk wine either] washed over our collective palates and took us out to a purple ocean of hedonistic pleasure.

Glitches: Yes, okay there were a few WI-FI was not [so much for "live" blogging] working and we drank some very good wine from plastic wine glasses [pool-side], but my overall impression of the WBC 09 and my first time attending an event of this type was a good one. That said, I really am looking forward to attending this years conference in Walla, Walla, Washington.

The Washington Wine Scene: Now as you can see this wine is from the Columbia Valley in Washington State, where they are making some truly wonderful wines and according to the Editors at WE, "Washington State wines made an impressive showing in our Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2009, with 11 spots on the list." This short statement from the editors at WE should be enough to convince you of the point I'm trying to make, that the Washington Wine Scene is indeed heating up!

About Forgeron Cellars: Wondering where is winery that made this yummy example of a well-balanced Chardonnay exactly? I will let Paul Gregutt of the Seattle Times explain, "It's tucked away on a quiet corner a few blocks from bustling downtown Walla Walla, WA is where you'll find Forgeron Cellars" which was founded in 2001 by a group of investors, mostly from the Walla Walla Valley, who have been involved in the wine industry since 1989.This new venture emphasizes their passion and dedication for a long-term commitment to a rapidly growing industry in the Walla Walla Valley. Where they have contracted with many vineyards strategically located across the Yakima, Columbia and Walla-Walla Valleys. According to their website, their focus is based upon reflecting the quality of grapes from the best sites, to reveal the full potential of Washington State. They also have been actively developing distinct vineyards in Walla Walla, illustrating their long-term commitment to the industry in this valley we are proud to call home.

About the winemaker: The reason this wine is much more Burgundian than your typical New World Chardonnay is because their winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla [part owner] is one of the growing number of French-born and trained winemakers who have made Washington state their home. According the Seattle Times writer Paula Gregutt, "With little fanfare, she has been developing vineyard sources, fine-tuning her winemaking and making excellent Euro-styled wines." Paula if this wine is an example of what you're talking about then I'm 100% agreement you and look forward to sampling more of the wonderful ranges of wines from this region.

First Swirl:  In the glass the wine a straw colored core and pale yellow rim. Swirling about in my glass it reveals good structure and viscosity

First Sniff: From what I recall in my notes this wine had some enticing aromas of freshly sliced pears and other citrus notes effortlessly wafting up from the glass.

First Sip: I really enjoyed the mouth watering spicy apple and tropical notes, effortlessly co-mingling with a tangy fresh acidity and a nice finish of fruit and lingering minerality on the finish.

Alcohol and Price: The wine weighed in at 14% and is priced well for about $17.00 to $19.00 at a few online purveyors and can be found in the tasting room at $25.00. With a case production of a little over 700 hundred cases, this wonderful wine won't hang around too long.

Vineyards and Composition: Because they source fruit from many terroirs, some cool and some warmer sites, Forgeron Cellars is able to frequently produce a consistent crowd-pleasing style of Chardonnay and I believe the composition is 98% Chardonnay and 2% Lonesome Springs Orange Muscat [makes for an interesting blend] with a barrel treatment of 100% French oak.

Pairing Suggestions: Pairs wonderfully and easily with many food items, but it especially cries out for seafood pairing of sautéed scallops and clams or with a big hearty bowl of chowder and a piece of sourdough bread.

Other Voices: "You could spend a whole day touring any one of Walla Walla's wine areas. But the one that intrigued me was right in downtown Walla Walla itself...Then up another block to Forgeron Cellars, one of the strongest of the new wineries, and where chardonnay is the star attraction. I was even more impressed however with a striking roussanne..." Robert Mayfield, Statesman Journal Newspaper, August 2007 Walla Walla Spring Release Weekend 2008 The Wine Knows and Wine Enthusiast scored the 2006 a healthy 91 points and thinks the 2007 is right on track to be as good or even better than the rated and reviewed 06.

My Recommendation: This is a drink often wine, meaning it's as easy the wallet [or pocket-book] as it is on the palate. Ordering this by the case is a great choice and can really be considered as an everyday drinker, great value for very little money. Please make sure you get your hand on some today.

Cuvée Corner Wine Blog Score: Hey point seekers here's my score if your interested: This wine scored 92 points on the Cuvee Corner 100 point tasting scale Since this wines QPR [quality, price, ratio] score is through the roof.
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1 comment:

Olympic Wine Shop said...

I couldn't agree more! This has been one of my favorite Washington Chards for awhile now, and for exactly the reason you noted. IT'S BALANCED! And I'm closing out the '06 vintage @ just $6.99 for a half-bottle!

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