|2015 Charleston Peak Chardonnay|
For today's wine review I decided to stay rather close to home. About an hour+- from Las Vegas is the little (but growing) city of Pahrump, Nevada. Pahrump has the same climate as Las Vegas which is very dry and very hot. They also have the same type of soil which is loamy/sandy & rocky. You can probably guess that Pahrump is also a Desert. There are two different Wineries located in the City of Pahrump with one being the Sanders Family Winery (http://sanderswinery.com/) which is owned by Jack Sanders and the other being the Pahrump Valley Winery (http://www.pahrumpwinery.com/) being owned by the Husband and Wife team of Bill & Gretchen Loken. This winery is also where our review wine comes from. Judging from their website the grapes for this wine are grown at Queensland Vineyard (http://queenslandvineyardbnb.com/) which is located in Dyer (Northern), Nevada. Now that we know a little about where the wine comes from, let's move to the review and talk for a second about the label on this Southern Nevada wine.
|Gretchen Loken In The Pahrump Valley Vineyard|
The Bouquet is rather fruit forward and possess just a hint of Butter on the nose. Notes of Honeysuckle, Jasmine and Oak are really dominating here. I am getting a rather large sense that this is going to be a rather sweet Chardonnay.
On the Palate now I unfortunately must begin with the fact hat there is a rather forward buttery note which is certainly caused by Malolactic (secondary) Fermentation. This buttery note is really rather strong and therefore noticeable. The note is more than just a bit over the top in my opinion. That note of Honeysuckle that I mentioned on the Bouquet is also very apparent and is on the back end of the Palate and also of course, not shy by any means. The wine also mixes in a note of sweet Pear that presents itself as almost overly ripe and somewhat sugary yet still in all helps to create a decent Palate feel. Speaking of notes which also transfer over, let's continue now with the note of Jasmine that also meshes decently with the other notes which I have so far picked up on the palate. There is a problem here however as this Jasmine note is very strong and helps to push this wine towards being over the top unfortunately in the sweetness area in my book. A note of super sour Apple comes forward in an underlying yet not strong note which also brings a change (or deviation) from the overall sweetness that seems to be starting to dominate this wine. There is the slightest bit of Acidity present in the wine that might at first go unnoticed unless careful attention to the wine is paid but certainly nothing to make a change in the direction in which the wine is unfortunately headed. So there you have it folks. Yes, this is a rather short review but there really is not much to talk about here. It is time now to move to my final notes on this review so let's go right ahead and do that.
|Pahrump Valley Winery|
Let's go ahead and put this all together now.. Is the wine a bad wine? In my opinion, it is. Are the grapes grown in a hot climate? They sure do appear to be. To me this is not a well made Chardonnay. Does this Chardonnay hold in any way to it's varietal characteristics? The answer is no. Will the average Chardonnay lover enjoy this wine? That all depends upon their taste preference and their knowledge of what the varietal is supposed to taste like. I can put a Wine Cooler into this bottle and I can enjoy the wine as I enjoy a good Wine Cooler once in a while but that doesn't make it a decent or good Chardonnay. Did I enjoy the wine? That answer is no. I do not like the overly sweet components in the wine. This is a white wine that carries some characteristics also of being syrupy sweet. At first, the wine was just bearable but shortly after taking a few sips it exhibited the fact that it is clearly over the top in it's sugary notes. I was initially going to give this wine 85 points which is not good but I am going to have to change that to and even lower 83 points which is pretty bad. This can be a good pool wine for the hot Summer months so don't completely discount it but as far as a Chardonnay goes, yeah, not. Before I go I want to say something about the Pahrump Valley Winery. I have had some very good wines form the Winery in the past but like even the best Winemakers, at times even they create wines that just simply do not seem to work. Keep this in mind if you have an opportunity to visit the Winery.
The Desert Wine Guy