We served the wine at a brisk 61 degrees with fish and chips. The color was clear and golden like a chardonnay should be, and Michael got citrus and melon in the nose. The first taste had a nice medium weight and crispness that suggested the wine had been fermented in steel tanks. Nonetheless, there was the spice of applied oak, meaning oak used as an ingredient instead of to cover one or more faults. The finish was decent but not long.
Just like the cabernet we mentioned earlier, these are decent wines for midweek meals or occasions where wine may not receive the time and attention it deserves. When was the last time you really noticed the sea salt or extra-virgin olive oil in the meal you bolted down before the PTA or town hall meeting? But these wines do fill that gap in your palate when you want a glass as part of a relaxing meal before dashing off to that next committee meeting or the kids’ latest recital. Or both.
We tasted the Three Sticks 06 Chard in possibly the worst possible situation – a gigantic show and tasting put on by the Family Winemakers of California. Imagine a room as big as a football field, with over 100 wineries, each trying to impress restaurant owners and retailers and even some consumers. It was chaotic and noisy. And there was a lot of wine. So it really means something that this one chardonnay managed to stand out – in a good way.
It has the classic chardonnay nose, with a little hint of honeysuckle, just enough to tease, but not enough to smell sweet or cloying. There’s a touch of oak, a combination of fifty percent new French oak and fifty percent neutral oak, just enough to concentrate the flavors that make a good chardonnay without tasting like splinters.
Tasting, Michael got apples, citrus and melons with a rich mouthfeel and enough tannins to keep the palate happy. This is a good food wine. Try fruit, cheeses, chicken and possibly a cream sauce with pasta. And if you really want to, you can cellar it, thanks to the right balance of acids, tannins and alcohol.