Blind tastings don’t lie. It’s an opportunity for the underdog to shine, especially in the case of local wine. Usually not given a fighting chance, especially by the mainstream media, a blind tasting removes the regional and label prejudices. So when I read Yonah Mountain Vineyards eked out a victory against the mighty Kistler in a controlled blind tasting earlier this year, I couldn’t help but smile. I’m not going to go overboard, this was only a single tasting. But with an elite panel of judges selecting the winning wines, it clearly demonstrates local wine is ready to make their mark in the global wine marketplace.
A bottle of the Yonah Mountain Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay just so happened to make it’s way back to my home after a visit to North Georgia last year. The Chardonnay grapes were sourced from nearby Frogtown Cellars in Dahlonega. Harvest was nearly ruined by rainfall due to hurricane Faye, but a combination of the fast draining Georgia red clay fields and vineyard management, the vines fully recovered and the grapes were harvested September 1st.
A California-esque Chardonnay, the golden, straw-color wine offers topical fruit and undertones of lemon peel and oak on the nose. White peach, apple, vanilla and buttery oak display prominently on the palate. Aged 9 months in French and American oak, the medium-bodied wine retails for $28. A well made wine from a winery that is proving “local” is here to stay. Cheers!
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