SANTA EMA 2004 CASABLANCA VALLEY RESERVE CHARDONNAYMay 27, 2006 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in WineThe Bottom Line Best chard in years, luscious and sure of itself, buy it if you can find it.
Welcome, Gentle Readers, to what was supposed to be another venture into the bi-coastal wine tasting extravaganza that Brother Pete Ruden and I have been foisting off on those who choose to read our drivel. In their day they were weekly dichotomous reviews of the same bottle of wine. Pete submits a review of the same wine that I review and you get a pair of opinions on the merit, or lack thereof, of a selected bottle of wine. Petes reviews have been absent of late but he did send me this 2004 Chilean Santa Ema, D.O. Casablanca Valley Reserve Chardonnay and heres my take on the wine. I do hope that Petes review will appear at a later date as this is one of his favorites.
Southernwines.com fine web page has been the best source of information on Santa Ema, as follows. In the central valley of Chile, a country with a long-standing tradition of fine wines, noble European stocks have found fertile ground and an ideal climate that has resulted in production which is good as, or even better, that in their country of origin.
In 1917, Pedro Pavone Voglino, the son of an Italian winemaker, immigrated from the Italian Piedmont-a region famous for its white Muscat and red wines, especially Merlot to settle in Chile.
Mr. Pavone planted his first vineyards in the Maipo Valley in 1931; four years later, he harvested his first Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Over the next years, he sold his grapes to large local wineries until-together with son Felix Pavone Arbea-he decided to found his own winery, known today as Santa Ema. Since its creation in 1955, Santa Ema has been exclusively managed by the Pavones in a traditional family style.
A magnificent vineyard and state-of-the-art technology place Santa Ema on the top rungs of the quality scale. Santa Ema is a shining example of how the implementation of technological criteria in wine production can result in major success in the production of premium wines. Santa Ema uses French oak barrels to age its Reserve wines.
I usually dont include THAT much purloined content, but as I no very little about Chilean wine, better my inclusion of the above than something I made up. Santa Ema is a popular winery in Chile and, after this bottle of their 2004 Casablanca Valley Reserve Chardonnay, its reputation is growing by the day in my house.
I chilled the bottle to 60 degrees and pulled the cork. The wine announces itself rather boldly, looking around at all the reds and saying,O.K., Im a white, who wants to start something. Those Paso Robles boys muttered a few quaint local expressions (they still havent got over that whole James Dean thing; tsk, tsk.) but no serious debacle ensued.
The bouquet reminded me of the better Miami open-air fruit stands, lots of tropical fruit essences, some pears, a bit of vanilla and some toast; I was impressed.
A tasting pour, swirled and examined, showed a hay/straw colored wine what sheeted the glass well and has some nice legs; 13.5% alcohol. A good nose-full of the bouquet, concentrated in the glass, revealed only some mineral tones added to the array noted above.
In the mouth the fruit is available very early in the taste and the wine is full in the mouth very early. As the wine moves back a pleasant bit of acidity asserts itself and a hint of figs joins the parade. I have fat and juicy all the way down and, after writing the first draft I see the WS mentions plump and juicy through finish. The wines time in oak is most notable (as an individual characteristic) on the finish, with the vanilla coming on with some lingering toast going down a very long and pleasant way.
I served the wine with smoky, over-fire grilled pork chops and artichokes, strawberry shortcake for dessert, and the wine danced very nicely all through the meal. I had my grandson Ayden (21 months) over for a guys night and he thought the meal also went well with apple juice. As we say up here in Shasta County, We pigged out.
This is an excellent bottle of chardonnay. Im hard-pressed to think of a California chard or a more classic (and austere, IMHO) French White Burgundy chard that Ive enjoyed as much as this 2004 Santa Ema Reserve Casablanca Valley Chardonnay. It doesnt seem to be grappling like over-oaked California chards or their stainless steel counterparts. Santa Ema has this one just right, at least to my taste; Im giving it a solid 5 stars. I see a wide variance in prices, $9-$20 here in the states. They made 8,000 cases of the stuff so, if you start looking now, you may find some locally and (for sure) on-line.
Sweetpaulie says have a safe and sane memorial day and, regardless of where you are on this war-thing, remember our current and past service men and women. Salud!
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