Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Shady Lane Cellars 2005 Chardonnay  (Leelanau Peninsula)

Shady Lane Cellars

2005 Chardonnay
(Leelanau Peninsula)

Perhaps another producer in the big, wide world of wine has blended barrel-fermented Chardonnay (76 percent in a French and American cooperage mix that was 25 percent new) with a balance of tank fermented and aged Auxerrois, but Shady Lane's blend is our first encounter.

Like the original 007 character, Auxerrois has been dubbed the grape of international intrigue. In the cooler climes of the Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Auxerrois takes on floral and citrus characteristics. Companion those with mineral, wet stones, ripe apple and toasty oak nuances and you're appreciating the full aroma profile.

The ripe apple note continues in the flavors with added pear, hints of brown spice, toasted bread and wheat crackers. Nice length, mineral and earthy notes complete an elegantly balanced wine that's perfect as a pairing for grilled seafood or seafood with a creamy sauce.

If you've thought that Chardonnays are beginning to be cookie cutter renditions, you'll be delighted by what a combination of well-drained sandy soils, southern exposures, good air drainage and altitude of Shady Lane's vineyards offer to this blend of estate-grown grapes.

Reviewed January 15, 2007 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.

The Wine

Winery: Shady Lane Cellars
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Leelanau Peninsula
Grapes: Chardonnay (76%), Auxerrois / Pinot Auxerrois (24%)
Price: 750ml $16.00

Review Date: 1/15/2007

The Reviewer

Eleanor & Ray Heald

The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.