Posted on April 5th, 2011
Three Rivers Chardonnay is from a little place called Walla Walla in Columbia Valley, Washington State.
I picked it up when on a recent business trip to Boulder, Colorado for about US$18 from Liquor Mart there.
What’s Liquor Mart? It’s the size of a supermarket, stocked with an infinitude of great wines, beers and spirits. Even with a shop of its size, the staff are knowledgeable, many having worked a stint or two for wineries.
On getting back to sunny Ireland I let it lie for the last 6 weeks to settle, not wholly intentionally. All the vibrations when flying can unsettle a wine, causing something called “bottle shock”, where the aroma and taste of the wine can be dulled.
Without further ado, how was the Three Rivers Chardonnay?
Lovely fresh aromatics, hints of hazelnut, crunchy green apple and some tropical notes. Gorgeous creamy texture along with flavours of pears and pineapple. A dab of spice and buttered toast from oak finishes it off nicely. Went really well with roast chicken. A really well made Chardonnay and as good as the great Chardonnays coming out of Australia, and some place called Burgundy.
So, don’t fear the oaken Chardonnay people! When done well and with a light hand it’s majestic and the king of white wines.
An an aside, I’ve seen a couple of people decry the lack of US wines on Irish shelves. The US, California in particular, has a reputation for expensive wines, but I think that’s lazy journalism.
However, I do agree that we have a pitiful selection from across the pond. Looking at the selection in Liquor Mart and some of their keen prices, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy more wines from the US at a decent price.
All it takes is an adventurous importer to get a selection in and then convince us to buy it (okay, that last part could be a bit tricky). But it’s already being done.
O’Brien’s is a good example of this in action with their Clos du Val range. Their Chardonnay was on what seemed like “permanent offer” for €17 (a steal), but has recently crept back up to €23. I saw it in Liqourmart for about US$18.