Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Revisiting The Reserve

Those of you who are regular readers of The Oregon Wine Blog know that it's rare for us to come across that wine. You know, the one you are still talking about months later... On April 1, 2010, Rick shared with the world one of those experiences that could be described as simply transformative; our foray into [yellow tail] The Reserve 2008 Shiraz.

A few weeks after our fateful stint as The Oregon [yellow tail] Blog, a box of mystery and intrigue showed up on our doorsteps. Among the treasures in the box we found the new lineup of [yellow tail] Reserve Wines, a Chardonnay and a Merlot -- with a new and improved label. Knowing we couldn't do justice to the Chardonnay and knowing our friends Peggy and Tom enjoy the varietal, this was a prime opportunity for a GUEST BLOGGER REVIEW! Peggy and Tom enjoy wine and have well-refined culinary palates, however, this represents their first wine review.

I'll let Peggy take it from there:

Tonight we planned a special dinner to go with the wine, since we were going to be serious about tasting it. We had potato wrapped halibut cooked on the panini with green beans, fresh strawberries and a green salad, and used our special fish plates. The first taste was not what I expected out of a chardonnay (my favorite is Bethel Heights Chardonnay so that’s my gauge for any chardonnay over $10 a bottle). It was sweet (Tom will give you his commentary in a moment). We tasted it with the strawberries and it leveled it out a bit, but it was still sweet. I don’t like a sweet chardonnay, if I want to drink fruit juice I’ll buy that – it’s much cheaper than wine. There is more than a hint of citrus – which I couldn’t identify until I tried it with a tomato. The label lists flavors like melon, peach and tropical fruit with notes of vanilla – probably what makes it so sweet. It should be labeled Chenin Blanc. “Pairs well with people watching” - you bet. Women (who don’t normally drink wine) will drink this like it’s a lemonade or other fruit juice and get quite drunk, quickly. All in all for me – Corbett Canyon is better for an everyday chardonnay than this one – it isn’t sweet (most of the time). I wouldn’t pay $10 a bottle for this, buy fruit juice instead.

Who else is excited by the potato wrapped halibut cooked on a panini grill? [Peggy, when are we coming over for dinner?]  Peggy's husband, Tom, didn't mince any words in sharing his thoughts:

The label says smooth and subtle, it is neither. It has a citrus bite to it that you have to kill by taking a bite of strawberry before each sip. It is smoother than the regular YT chard, but not enough to make me like it. The label was written not by the wine maker but by the marketing department who probably doesn’t drink wine. At least there is no evidence on the label that the person who wrote the label drank the wine. Maybe a pinch of vanilla, but only after a bite of strawberry because the citrus note wiped out all of the other flavors. You’ve heard of drink in 6 months, drink now, Too young for the moment? This is a don’t drink. To be fair, a year of aging might help it out but I do not think it will age well after that.

There you have it, friends, a review from those who identify with the very market [yellow tail] is reaching out towards.  Best paired with fish?  Maybe not.  Will it get chicks drunk?  You bet!


  1. That fish plate is freaking me out.

  2. corbett canyon -- good tip.

  3. Food looks good, but the fish plate is the coolest thing on that table!