E. & J. Gallo Northern Sonoma Chardonnay 1994, Northern Sonoma

I admit this time I go too far with my adventurism. Gallo! Chardonnay! Close to 20 years old! I guess I really don't know what I am doing here! Should I do something like that? Probably not ... anyway, at least it is not a regular standard Gallo Chardonnay from the Central Valley or wherever. In today's “Happening Now Tasting” I would like to give a 1994 single vineyard Chardonnay from Northern Sonoma AVA, perhaps from the Laguna Ranch Vineyards (couldn't find proper input about this oldie) a chance. I always wanted to try out some prime stuff from California’s biggest wine tycoon. So far I never had the chance to do so. Now the time has come …

6:37 pm CET (just opened)

Colour: slight hue of light orange, very clear, viscosity seems fine; magnificent cork quality

Nose: scents of bakehouse action, super ripe apricots, traces of smoked bacon, rather mute vanilla, an hardly any negative aromas of old age oak influences

Taste: surprisingly fresh on my palate, plenty of not over aged fruit flavours – mainly apricots, tangerines and a few lemons paired with traces of more tropical seeming aromas, still slightly buttery but not over influenced by vanilla flavours, a bit of semi sweet pastry, relatively sound acid proportion; certainly clear indication of its age, however no repellent or predominant ones; nice length so far, definitely not too mineral driven or equipped with a super complex structure; so far really enjoyable and ALIVE!

7:47 pm

Nose: the prior impressions are largely holding up, right now a few whiskey'ish fragrances are evolving including tart caramel and a few traces of honey, fruit is degrading (a bit)

Taste: not so much of a change, a little bit less fruit predominance and a little bit more dirty'ish earthy seeming flavours; so far no real evidence for the nasal whiskey path, I am afraid it won't keep up for long

8:41 pm

Nose: whiskey character is gaining ground, is getting less appealing and evidently loosing vitality

Taste: the fruitful juicy character is more and more degrading (not vanished yet), compared to the fading nose still mostly enjoyable, surely no improvement quality-wise, the seniority strikes back

10:11 pm

Only barrel aromas and whiskey like flavours left – I think Chardy has left the building

In conclusion: a juicy, fruitful, still rather sappy and short-lived Californian Chardonnay without tons of intellectual demand and sublimity; finish it off within one to two hours and it will be a mostly decent **** and pretty typical Chardonnay

No comments: