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WineSpeed | Wente

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil.

WENTE | “Eric’s” Unoaked Chardonnay 2016

(Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, CA) $26

Finding a fresh, crisp chardonnay that doesn’t have a thump of oak or a twang of sweetness is, well, rare.  (We taste hundreds of chardonnays and too many taste like ground up St. Joseph’s Aspirin for Children). But Wente’s “Eric’s” is the real deal—a chardonnay with lovely apple and pear flavors, and an aliveness on the palate that’s refreshing. Wente is one of the oldest great names in California chardonnay (many of the original chardonnay plant material came from this winery in the 1800s). Fifth generation winemaker Karl Wente made this in honor of his father, Eric. (13.5% abv)

90 points KM

Available at Wine.com

More Wines to Know…

The oral somatosensory property of a wine is synonymous with its:

A.    Sense of creaminess

B.    Spiciness

C.    Smell

D.    Mouthfeel

Click here for the answer…

The “Cristal” of Cavas?

Cava wants to be taken seriously. And Spain may finally have an answer with a new classification called Cava de Paraje Calificado(CdP for short). Only the best single-vineyard cavas (Spanish sparkling wines made by the traditional Champagne method) can be called CdP— and there’s a rigorous path to getting there. These top-tier cavas must originate from terrior deemed special, and they must be made with lower yields of grapes. CdP cavas are also aged longer— a minimum of 36 months on the lees. The end result are cavas with extraordinary characteristics that compete with other crème de la crème sparklings around the world.  (And yes, they are expensive).

Other Fascinating Facts…

“I hover over the expensive Scotch and then the Armagnac, but finally settle on a glass of rich red claret. I put it near my nose and nearly pass out. It smells of old houses and aged wood and dark secrets, but also of hard, hot sunshine through ancient shutters and long, wicked afternoons in a four-poster bed. It’s not a wine, it’s a life, right there in the glass.”
Nick Harkaway, author, The Gone-Away World


Offensive-smelling compounds that result from poor winemaking when hydrogen sulfide combines with… Keep reading…

About 30% of the world’s oak is used to make wine barrels. 

Answer: False. Just 2 percent of the world’s oak is suitable to be planed into staves that will ultimately be assembled to make wine barrels. Those staves will come from just the heart of the tree. 


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