Monthly Archives: April 2017

Tasting Note – Hawthorne Barrel Reserve Chardonnay

From one of my trips up north last year – I’m having this with a cod, potato, and cabbage dish from Blue Apron.

Hawthorne Barrel Reserve Chardonay (2013) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $25

Color: straw yellow.

Aroma: lemon and Golden Delicious apple fruit, with just a touch of vanilla.

Taste: very well-balanced, and quite rich in texture – more apple fruit, with lemon underneath.  The oak and vanilla notes are subdued and harmonious; this is not a typical oaky Chard.  The finish is quite long, on both the mid-palate and the back of the tongue, and coats the mouth nicely with fruit and a hint of lanolin.

20170430_191040Pairing: it opens up a little more with some warmth and the food, and exhibits some tropical notes – especially pineapple. A great foil for the earthiness of the food.

Recommended! This easily competes with Chardonnays in the same price range from California.  I see from their website that this vintage is sold out now – if you were lucky enough to snag some, you’re in for a real treat.  I’ll be checking out more recent vintages soon.

Tasting Note – 2 Lads Pinot Grigio

Another wine club delivery from this last week – I’m having a glass as an aperitif before dinner.  It’s a 2016 vintage, which means it’s just recently been bottled.

2 Lads Pinot Grigio (2016) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $17

Color: very brassy and pale.

Aroma: lemon, vanilla, some green grassy and herbal notes.

Taste: crisp, with a touch of residual carbon dioxide that makes it lively on the tongue. The citrus notes are balanced by the herbal notes – like in a good Thai dish – and the overall impression is lively and refreshing.  This is a great cocktail hour white.



Tasting Note – 2 Lads Pinot Noir

Got a wine club shipment today, and am cracking one of the two bottles of 2016 Pinot Noir in the box. I’m really looking forward to this, and I have grilled pork chops and pesto baby potatoes to have with it in a little bit.

2 Lads Pinot Noir (2016) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $29

Color: bright, clear garnet red – you can tell this is a young, fresh wine from the way the color extends without any change in hue as you tip the glass.

Aroma: intriguing – there’s cranberry and red currant in here, along with cherry, kirsch, and some bramble notes.

Taste: tart up front, with candied and fresh fruit notes. The mid-palate exhibits more of the brambles and kirsch than straight fruit, and it’s a little weak there. It has a medium-length finish that’s soft and warm.

Pairs decently with the pork & potatoes.

Nice – but just a little too thin to merit a recommended tag.


Tasting Note: HB Picpoul de Pinet

PicpHB_picpouloul de Pinet is one of those fairly obscure white grapes from the south of France (also known as Folle Blanche) that is absolutely adored in its home region, and nearly ignored elsewhere.  It’s a great picnic white, as it typically has great fruit and floral notes, isn’t oaked, and tastes just as well right out of the ice-bucket and after it’s warmed up in your glass for a half-hour.

HB (2015) Picpoul de Pinet, France – $11

Color: pale yellow-green.

Aroma: crisp, with citrus and honeysuckle.

Taste: right on the mark between crisp and full in the mouth, with a hint of candied-fruit sweetness in the midpalate and a very long, full finish. More citrus notes, but also green apple and a touch of jasmine.  Absolutely lovely.

This pairs exceedingly well with my catfish, as it’s served with Japanese noodles and vegetables; the ginger and the lushness of the wine go very nicely together.

A great value wine, highly recommended!  This is a wonderful alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.