Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Joseph Phelps 2004 Ovation Chardonnay

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

2004 Ovation Chardonnay
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

This Chardonnay is a prime example of why consumers should come back to the varietal that has been much maligned the last couple of years. It’s tight in the nose just now with just a hint of oak. But this wine is a keeper for perhaps up to eight years. As it should be, considering the price tag.

It’s still young, with a touch of greenness. Nonetheless, it’s perfectly balanced with bright, fresh tropical fruit and crisp acidity. I recommend holding it for a couple of years.

The blend comes mostly from Carneros Napa (76%) with the remainder sourced from the Sonoma side of Los Carneros (17%), and the Russian River (7%). A vast majority of the grapes (83%), however, come from Phelps own vineyards.

The fruit was harvested at an average 24.0° Brix (sugar), fermented sur lees and aged for 11 months in a combination of new French oak barrels (40%) and 1-year-old French wood (60%). In the end, the Phelps team made a great wine – a Chardonnay.

Reviewed September 26, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Ovation Chardonnay
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $60.00

Review Date: 9/26/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.