Tarara Vineyard & Winery2005 Chardonnay
In 1975, Whitie and Margaret Hubert purchased 475 acres of prime Virginia farmland along the Potomac River to plant a vineyard. For Whitie it was a return to a childhood where he worked in the family vineyard in Ohio, growing grapes for the Welch’s Juice Company. In 1985 the couple opened Tarara Winery.
Tarara’s 60 acre vineyard overlooks the Potomac River, which moderates the local microclimate in summer and winter. Since 2004, management of the vineyard and winemaking has been in the able hands of Canadian born and trained winemaker, Rob Warren. Warren studied at the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute at Brock University in the Niagara region of Ontario and worked as Assistant Vineyard Manager at Malivoire Winery before taking on winemaker responsibilities at Kacaba Vineyards. At Kacaba, Warren honed his technique in the cellar, garnering tremendous critical acclaim for his Burgundy and Bordeaux varietals, before leaving for Virginia in 2004.
Warren seems to have adapted well to his new working environs as evidenced by this 2005 Chardonnay. Fermentation and aging in French oak is immediately apparent on a quite Burgundy-like nose with toasty-oak and hazelnut notes. Ripe, almost tropical, fruit aromas emerge through the initial impressions of wood, complemented further by a dusty minerality and slightly funky (in a good way) wet wool character. The palate is richly textured with hazelnut and marzipan backed up by baked pear and buttery apple pie crust flavors, all supported by sufficient acidity to keep it lively. The wine finishes slightly prickly with alcoholic warmth but the suppleness of this wine warrants its listed 13.7% alcohol. Final impression is a Chard that displays an admirable mingling of Old and New World styles.
Reviewed February 6, 2007 by Adam Dial.
Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.