Parma Ridge Vineyards2002 Chardonnay Unoaked, Mountain Spring
The climate is inhospitable, rainfall is low and severe winters delay bud break, but sixteen hours a day of intense sunshine is common, offsetting the cold temperatures. To the east, the Rocky Mountains protect the area from arctic storms but winters are long and challenging. Idaho is one of four places in the world where all the vineyards are planted on their own roots. The nutrient-deficient soil is inhospitable to the vine louse, phylloxera.
Add to this the marketing challenges - with 57 percent of residents tee totaling Mormons, producers must market their wines outside the state in competition with more widely accepted and recognized Oregon and Washington wines – and it becomes clear that these producers must really love what they do.
Parma Ridge Vineyards was planted in 1988 on a former apple orchard, to Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This $14 Chardonnay falls into the neatly trendy “unoaked” category, gaining popularity with sommeliers and certainly huge in the UK. Clear, bright, and medium straw yellow, the wine has aromas of lime, butter, cantaloupe, honeydew, and spearmint. On the palate the fruit is more in the apple/pear/peach spectrum and the wine is pleasantly buttery and clean.
Reviewed July 17, 2007 by Catherine Fallis.
Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.