April 22, 2009

Mirth 2007 Oregon 58 percent, Washington 42 percent Chardonnay, about $13

This actually tastes like chardonnay — good, crisp, lemon-bright chardonnay with ripe, sweet apple flavors and vibrant, citric acidity. It's from David O'Reilly, the vintner behind Owen Roe as well as the value-priced O'Reilly brand, master of sourcing great fruit at affordable prices and passing the savings on to the consumer. Taste it alone, and the flavor of the fruit fills the mouth, ripe and sweet; later, with clams, potatoes and chorizo, it feels crisp and lively, cutting through the richness and matching the bracing, sea-salt tang of the shellfish. Fermented almost wholly in stainless steel, there's no oak to get in the way of the grape's true character — and it proves that good chardonnay does indeed have character. Amazing at the price.

Distributed by CS Wine Imports, Denver, CO; www.cswineimports.com

This first appeared in the Denver Post.

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