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Posts Tagged ‘Kendall-Jackson’

As I sit down to write this post, the pressure’s on to make it a good one—given that it comes after a month-long blogging hiatus and will be one of my last, at least for a while…. Luckily I’ve got some good material to work with: notes on over a dozen Chardonnays, which we uncorked and tasted blind over the weekend.

Peter did a preliminary tasting of all the wines, proclaiming 10 to be worth a second pass. The thing that I found most notable about our results was that we both picked the same wine as our favorite. And, in a sea of Chards ranging in price from $13 to $48, it was the least expensive.

The winner: the 2009 L de Lyeth Sonoma County Chardonnay (the Sonoma County designation just means that the wine was made from grapes grown in different areas of the county, rather than just the Russian River Valley, say, or just the Sonoma Coast). It was more vegetal than fruity on the nose, with notes of straw and caramel. This unusual wine was delicately prickly on the palate and had a long and pleasant finish.

Runner-ups in the 2009 vintage included Kendall-Jackson’s Avant California Chardonnay ($14, medium-bodied and smooth, with a nice aroma of tropical fruit) and Clos du Bois’ Russian River Chardonnay ($18, lemon on the nose, lots more citrus on the palate, and great balance). In the 2008 vintage we liked Kendall-Jackson’s Grand Reserve Monterey/Santa Barbara Chardonnay ($20, a figgy aroma and notable residual sugar), Cambria Estate Winery’s Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay ($22, nicely balanced, with a bouquet of straw and a rough-silk mouthfeel); Mantanzas Creek’s Sonoma Chardonnay ($29, banana on the nose, light and smooth); and Waterstone’s Carneros Chardonnay ($18, grapefruit aroma, light and creamy).

Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve has moved on to the 2009 vintage, but given its impressive 2008 showing, the new vintage is well worth a try. And if you do try it, consider drinking a toast to Jess Jackson, the California wine industry giant who passed away on April 21st.

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Philip James, CEO and cofounder of the interactive wine database and social network Snooth, has been a busy guy lately. The ink was barely dry on press releases announcing Snooth’s new iPhone app when another was issued announcing the launch of Snooth’s sister Website, Lot18.com. Below are details on both offerings, along with information about a third new tech tool aimed at automating the wine appreciation experience. Blogging aside, I personally like keeping that experience as tech-free as possible, but… no judgment on the early adopters.

  • The newish app Snooth Wine Pro lets you take a picture of a wine label with your phone and, once the wine has been identified in Snooth’s database, quickly find a bottle of it in a store near you. You can also create wishlists and maintain a virtual cellar, instantly read reviews, and add reviews of your own. Snooth Wine Pro is available for $4.99 in Apple’s App Store. A free, ad-supported version is also available.
  • The just-launched Lot18.com is selling wines in a flash-sale-style format at savings of up to 60 percent. It’s a membership-by-invitation marketplace, but securing an invitation involves nothing more than clicking a Get Invite Code button on the site and filling in your name, e-mail, and zip code. Alder Yarrow offered a good list of these sites last summer on Vinography, and his post mentions some interesting views from Good Grape on the same topic.
  • Argentina’s Argento Winery has released its 2009 Argento Malbec with a QR barcode that, when scanned with a smartphone equipped with a QR code reader, provides access to winery and winemaker information, tasting notes, food pairings, and videos. Other wineries jumping on the QR code bandwagon include Kendall-JacksonJUSTIN Winery of Paso Robles; Kind Vines of Arizona; and wineries in Portugal and Australia. Free QR code readers are easy to find online; here’s a good CNet review of a few.

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