Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Fenn Valley Vineyards 2005 Chardonel Reserve  (Lake Michigan Shore)

Fenn Valley Vineyards

2006 Chardonel Reserve

No, no, that's not a typo. Chardonel is a grape variety. You didn't know?

Then you better point your mouse towards Appellation America's wine info navigation box and click on "Grape index" where you'll learn that as a Chardonnay x Seyval cross, Chardonel was developed at Cornell University in New York state to be a late-ripening, productive, cold-climate variety. It has been a boon to colder-climate midwest and mid-Atlantic states and has become the number two grape in Missouri.

Fenn Valley's version, as typified in this 2006 Chardonel Reserve, is nothing short of exotic with fragrantly-floral gardenia-like aromas with notes of banana and citrus blossom. Orange and banana with a kick of white spices highlight palate sensations. This Chardonel, aged in Michigan oak cooperage, is an overall strikingly engaging wine to pair with Asian foods, particularly Thai. Lush pure fruit sweetness (not sugar) places this wine in the Sweet Beats Heat category, so try it with any spicy dish for a splash of palate cooling.

Winemaker for his family's Fenn Valley Vineyards, Doug Welsch describes sales of Chardonel as "phenomenal." But he does admit, it takes marketing skill to sell the name. Try it, you'll like it!

Reviewed February 26, 2007 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.

Other reviewed wines from Fenn Valley Vineyards


The Wine

Winery: Fenn Valley Vineyards
Vintage: 2006
Wine: Chardonel Reserve
Appellation: Fennville
Grape: Chardonel
Price: 750ml $15.00

Review Date: 2/26/2007

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.