Petite Riviere Vineyards & Winery2003 Chardonnay, LaHave River Vineyard
More proof that Chardonnay has a promising future in Nova Scotian vineyards. This time, from the South Shore region, where Chris Naulger is getting consistently good fruit off his LaHave River Vineyard -- despite very inconsistent conditions over the past few vintages. The wine is made down the road at Philip Wambolt’s Petite Riviere Winery, but the eventual plan is for Chris to open his own winery on the banks of the LaHave.
The nose shows fresh lemony fruit with a pleasant dusty mineral character reminiscent of Chablis. The Chablis comparison continues on a palate that is squeaky clean and steely with a long tart and salty finish that beckons for food. Acknowledging the wine’s plea, the second half of the bottle was had over lunch -- a normally wine 'unfriendly' Greek salad -- but the minerality and firm acidity of the wine stood up to and actually complemented the briny tart nature of the salad.
Despite its minimalist winemaking (no oak, no lees, no skin contact) this wine demonstrates that even naked, Chardonnay is naturally a full bodied wine with complex character and that its (too common) oak veneer isn’t always necessary, nor beneficial.
Reviewed September 13, 2005 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.