Star-Struck Chard

Deep golden glow. Delicious ripe fruit and pie spice rise out of the nose, pinching the equally impressive buttered baguette and oak into the corner but never obfuscating it.

This is a big girl. I guess–as a Californian–as I see the appellations and wine-production move further and further North, my first instinct is an 80’s or 90’s one: one of green, under-ripe, low-alcohol, somewhat Burgundian (or BDX in the case of WA) assumptions. But Oregon has proved me wrong with this many times in the past decade and WA several times in the past TWO. This is a big lush CA-style Chard, probably clocking in near 14-0 and with a full dance-card of malo and French oak.

In the mouth, lemon-lime syrup runs nice and clean along toasty rails. It’s rich and stuffed to the gills with decadent tropical and summer fruit. An acid bite late-mid attempts it de-rail the oak, and does a nice job counter-weighting it. I’m drinking it at about 54° and the gentle green tannins are nestled in nicely on the goodbye. That carmelized lollipop sugar lingers on for ever and ever. Just the way it SHOULD in these chardonnays.

2016 URSA MAJOR Chardonnay Okanagan Valley British Columbia Canada 13.5

www.deserthills.ca/Ursa-Major

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