2001 Rief Estate Chardonnay Reserve VQA (Estate Bottled)
Mary Jo made a roast chicken dinner last night, so I looked into my stash of local Chardonnay. I almost brought the 2009 Arrowhead Springs, but found this and thought "Hmmm…. I don't recall ever having a 13 year old Chardonnay", so it was time for an adventure.
The back label has information one doesn't often find: Brix at harvest – 24.3; Acidity – 5.9 gms/litre. The label also mentions toasty oak, orchard fruit, chocolate bean, vanilla, sweetness and a "smooth" finish.
Clean cork, moist about half-way. Brilliantly clear, medium amber, with a generous nose of ripe pears, vanilla and bonfire smoke. However, in the mouth, the wine was not at all what I was expecting, based on the label descriptor. In fact, it was better than expected. Full, medium long finish, with good, cleansing acidity and a slight lingering viscous feeling in the mouth. It seemed higher in acid than I expected and had no hint of any sugar. I shortly found out why. After 5 minutes or so warming in the glass, very tiny bubbles were forming, indicating the presence of CO2. If the wine had been aged in oak for any length of time, I doubt if the wine was bottled with "spritz". The label mentioned sweetness that I didn't detect, so I'm guessing that it was bottled with a trace of RS, which, over the course of 12+ years, somehow fermented, but there was no trace of any particles or cloudiness. Overall, the wine was a superb match with the perfectly roasted chicken. I liked it.