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July 8, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

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Two Vines Chardonnay Picmonkey

 

2012 Chardonnay

 

Two Vines

Washington State

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $ 8

“Suggested retail for this wine is $8, though it can often be found for less. An internet search revealed prices anywhere from $5.99 and $11.22. We found it to be an excellent bottle of wine, regardless of price.

“Chardonnays at $10 and under are usually sweeter than the Two Vines and often, though recognizable as this grape variety, their fruit shows in a kind of ‘murky’ way. This week’s Pick is not at all like that. It exhibits classic Chardonnay aroma and flavors, but in a clean and crisp fashion.

“Bottles-labeled ‘Chardonnay’ sometimes include smaller quantities of juice from other varieties. In the case of this week’s Pick, juice from Pinot Gris grapes accounts for 14% of its content. In a phone call subsequent to our writing tasting notes, a winery representative suggested that Pinot Gris was included in the blend to achieve those very qualities that we had found so appealing. Though the vinification included some malolactic fermentation and oak aging, most of this Chardonnay was fermented in stainless steel, a decision that also contributes to the fresh aromas and bright flavor.

This wine was a surprise. If not a great Chardonnay when compared to all the bottles of this variety on a retail shelf, it probably qualifies as a great Chardonnay for $8. "

Food Affinity: “The relatively low alcohol level (13.5%) and good acidity make this wine much more food-friendly than many Chardonnay options. At the price it could be part of a bargain chicken dinner for four people.  However, it’s good enough to pour with something more upscale. Splurge and serve with some big gulf shrimp grilled on sprigs of fresh rosemary.”