This is the second wine reviewed in a series of five wines tasted at a luncheon with Alamos winemaker Felipe Stahlschmidt and brand ambassador Tatiana Nessier. All of these wines are available in Canada but some are not available in every province.
During the course of our tasting I asked Felipe what his favourite wine was. His response was Chardonnay. Making and producing a good Chardonnay is much harder to do than Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or Syrah. That seems to be a common theme among several winemakers. The owner and winemaker for one of my favourite wineries in Washington State known for their big Syrah and Cabernet blends says his favourite wine to make and drink is Chardonnay, too.
The Alamos Chardonnay is grown at a high altitude and benefits from abundant sunlight, cooler temperatures and clean air. 2013 was a great vintage weather-wise with the absence of frost and high winds in the spring allowing the fruit to hang longer, fully mature and develop their ripe and lush flavour profile.
The grapes are harvested over a two week period of time and the blocks are all kept separate from one another until it’s time to blend. You may think this is a small enterprise but Alamos has well over 20-blocks to keep separate. All of the grapes are crushed, most put in steel tanks with some spending time in seasoned French oak barrels. The wine is tasted twice daily during the process ensuring quality. There is a panel of growers and winemakers that meet to blind taste the wine. If their wine does not score in one of the top two spots in an industry tasting panel comprised of growers and winemakers its back to the drawing board. I’d say that these are pretty lofty goals for Felipe and his team to achieve, but shows their commitment to producing great wine.
This 100% Chardonnay has mild oak notes, a hint of spice and butterscotch flavours. There are also fleshy fruit flavours of Fuji apples and Bosch pears. This is a balanced, medium to medium-full body wine. There is a really good balance of acidity and full flavours with just enough oak to round it out. This wine ticks all of the right boxes and all the ingredients needed to make this a popular summer sipper. I suggest serving it a tad warmer than you normally do to enjoy the full aromatics and flavours. You will also find the acidity is a bit higher as the wine warms up giving you a nice crisp finish.
My Impression: 88-Points