Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - 2012 Pennywise Chardonnay

The 2012 Pennywise Chardonnay

   Hello everyone and welcome to the first few days of Spring. I don't know about your weather but here in Las Vegas (on the day I am writing these notes at least)we are experiencing full Sun and temperatures in the low 70s with slight breezes that feel simply wonderful actually. What better day than to open a nicely chilled bottle of Chardonnay. Today's review is on the 2012 Pennywise Chardonnay with grapes sourced from various parts of California. The 2012 Pennywise Chardonnay is a blend of mostly Chardonnay (96%) and Viognier (4%) and comes in at 13.5% alcohol. We will get into the company and where the grapes come from in a few minutes. First however lets begin by talking a little bit about where I got this wine. I received this wine from the Wine of The Month Club which by the way, I highly recommend belonging to. This wine was listed in their "Classic Wine Series" and I received it in my monthly shipment. If you are interested in finding out some more about the club, here is a link to a review I did on it in December of 2014. All right then, let's move on now and learn a little bit more about this Vineyard.
  Let's start off by first understanding that the "Pennywise" label is made from grapes sourced from various vineyards in California. The Pennywise label itself is produced by a beverage company named "3 Badge Beverage Company" and does not come from a particular vineyard.
( was founded in 2010 and is located in Sonoma, California. According to their website the name "3 Badge" actually comes from old fire services badges from the Sebastiani family. The company itself also happens to be run out of an old fire station in Sonoma. Digging a little deeper I also found that the 3 Badge company is in reality owned by Don Sebastiani & Sons ( although for some strange reason their website makes no mention of the Pennywise label nor the Leese-Fitch wine label that they also handle among others although the 3 Badge website does make mention of these labels.
3 Badge Beverage Corp

Don Sebastiani Jr  CEO and chairman.
   Before we actually start delving into describing this wine I have to admit something to you readers. I have to tell you that after tasting the first few sips of the wine my first thoughts were in reality to simply forget about writing this review and just kick back, relax and enjoy this wonderful Chardonnay. In reality it actually does take a lot to put together a rough draft of my review wines as opposed to simply sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the wine. Well, as I said, that was my original thought but than I than started thinking about you guys, my readers and how you deserve to be able to appreciate this wine (at least thru my writing) so I simply had to follow thru with the review so that you guys can begin to appreciate this wine like I did. This is one of those wines where you can pick up the Bouquet from a few feet away, I love it. From the minute I opened the bottle in my Kitchen the wine exposed to the air notes of rich, tropical, Honeysuckle, Green Apple and melon just jumping right out there, I truly wasn't expecting this from such an inexpensive wine that sells for $10.98 thru stores. Truthfully, early on I was starting to be impressed and also started developing hopes for the wine that I held in my hand. How this wine up up on my Palette however is the next question we need to answer. I am hoping that this wine doesn't disappoint on my Palette folks, really I am. Starting off on my Palette now I'll say that this wine appears to be extremely well balanced. All the notes present in the wine seem to mesh very well together with none really dominating over the others. Honeysuckle seems to be the first note that I picked up on my Palette. WOW folks, really nice. No overpowering sweetness here to ruin the wine. Am I saying there is no note of sugar here, no, I am certainly not. There is definitely a note of sugar to the wine. Think about this for a minute. A note of Honeysuckle, does that bring to mind a sweetish addiction?  How about our next note of Green Apple, does Green Apple not also bring to mind a sense of sweetness? I guess before I go on let me say this about the wine.
While the notes may lead one to believe that the wine is a "sugar bomb" it certainly is not. This wine is not dominated by sugar, it is actually not dominated by anything except expressive tropical fruit. You clearly taste each and every individual note and you clearly love it. How about Papaya, does that sound enticing? Well, you bet it is enticing, especially when you taste it in this wine. An ever so slight (and yes, I do mean slight) note of toast here in the wine perhaps from the Oak the wine sat in adds a bit of crispness and with very little acidity here in this wine it is simply perfect. As I have already stated, this indeed is a very tropical wine that I am reviewing here, no doubt about it readers so please don't think that this is a dry wine at all, if you are looking for a dull, dry Chardonnay you should look elsewhere. These grapes were grown in a semi hot climate and the Chardonnay exhibits that element. So I am into about a half of a bottle right now and I have to say that the wine is not losing anything on the Bouquet or mouth feel after being open at least an hour, this wine is still going strong. One thing I want to mention before I forget. readers of this blog should already know about how I feel concerning wine closures (Cork vs Screw Caps) this wine is actually sealed with a cork and not a screw cap, that is nice. Perhaps this is due to the vintage and the Screw Cap fad hadn't caught on yet, I do not know. I hope however that in their current  vintages that 3Badge Enology have continued to stick with sealing their wine bottles in this way.
Glass of The 2012 Pennywise Chardonnay
   O.K everyone, let's wrap this up. Let's see now. Folks.....what a wonderful Summer Chardonnay we have here. Beware that this is certainly a "New World" wine with notes of tropical fruit delivered to prove it. This is a wine whose grapes are obviously grown in very warm locations or experienced some sort of Malolactic Fermentation, either way the wine is absolutely awesome n my book. I do believe that I could have this wine everyday (if I drank alcohol everyday, which I don't) in the Summer as I sit out by the pool. All right folks, here is the moment we have all been waiting for. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am putting this wine at the superb rating of 94 points which means that it fell into the level of wines judged at "Superb, a great achievement". My recommendation is for you to track at least a few bottles of this wine down and wait for your pool weather to enjoy it, you will not be sorry you did.

   UPDATE - I have actually just finished E-Mailing the Wine of The Month Club for information on possibly purchasing more of this wine. According to Khalil at The Wine of The Month Club it is not possible to get any more of this wine, how sad.

                                                                                                                The Desert Wine Guy 

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