Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great Chardonnay - Whuppass Game

This whole Canucks-Blackhawks series is a head scratcher. One team has been dominant in every game - and, despite a grand start in Game 1 by the Canucks, it's generally been Chicago getting the best outing. Down three games to one and playing in the Windy City, not many people were giving the Canucks much of a chance. You just couldn't tell which team was going to show up.

This could very well have been the last game in the series and that would mean our run of Orofino wines would have to come to an end for now. If it was to be the Canucks' last game of the season, I was really glad to to get my hands on this bottle for tonight's battle.

447. 2008 Orofino Chardonnay (Similkameen Valley)

Chardonnay. My way.

The 2008 vintage consisted of only 300 cases. Such a shame because this is a wine that makes me think I need to drink more Chardonnay. To say that this wine takes the middle road would be a disservice, but, for me, it really captures some of the most notable characteristics that can exist on the extremes of the Chardonnay profile.

Not afraid of using oak, John Weber's used a steady hand and managed to incorporate a richness and creamy mouthfeel while still maintaining bright (almost) tropical fruit. This is no oak monster. Nor is it all acid and fruit. This is a balance that made me sad when the last glass was poured.

I didn't see any reference to the oak being used on the wine. In the past, John has ventured where few have gone before. He's used Canadian oak barrels with a couple of vintages - as opposed to French or American oak. There aren't a lot of Canadian barrels out there; so, I'd be interested in hearing if he's still using the Canuck wood and what prompted the decision to keep using it or to stop.

But, what was (maybe) even better than the wine, was the fact that the Canucks found the same balance on the ice and stormed into the madhouse that is United Center and took it to the Hawks. With a 4-1 win, is that a glimmer of hope I see emanating from the Canucks bandwagon? We can only pray that the same Canucks team shows up in Vancouver for Game 6 - but it also means that we'll be adding at least one more Orofino wine to The List before the hockey season is over.

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