Its becoming incredibly difficult to find a barrel-aged Chardonnay these days.  I’m having to look more closely at a lot of Chardonnay labels to determine stainless steel or barrel finishing.  So when I spotted this last bottle of Strewn Winery’s Ontario Premium Barrel-Aged Chardonnay VQA 2008 on the shelf at my local LCBO, I snagged it not caring about its $13.95 price tag.

I made the mistake of putting the bottle in the fridge this morning – to make it good and cold for sipping after a hard day at the office. Huge mistake!  Far too cold and muted, the first impression on my nostrils was BACON!  Oh my! What have I done! *grumble   (who doesn’t like bacon, but really – wine?! No!)  I stoppered the bottle, saved the cork, (I was very pleased to see the wine maker chose to use a natural (if not lower grade) cork) and let the bottle rest on the counter.  Twenty or so minutes later as my honey and dijon marinated pork chop neared completion on the grill, I took up the wine again.

Much better!  A lightly spiced baked apple aroma confirms the barrel-aging was accomplished in a combination of American and French oak, lightly toasted. The lustrous golden color and 12.5% alc/vol offered a smooth flavor of cling-stone peaches and subtle flowery tickles.  Moderate acidity and medium-bodied in mouth feel with only a faint wisp of lingering wood; the finish carries a decently pleasing, fairly complex mineral twang.

I have no idea what supplies of this wine are like at various LCBO stores, so check their website.  If you’re not into fresh Ontario pork as much as I am to go with this basic barrel-aged Chardonnay, try it with a home-made Alfredo Linguine! The interaction of the rich sauce and assertive wine would be most pleasing!

Cheers!

~tvb

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*image credit – Strewn Winery – fair use provisions for review and critique.

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