By Richy Petrina of Ithaca Wine Ventures
Whenever possible, I try and use the night’s wine as the muse for deciding what to cook. It’s a fun excuse to change things up a bit when otherwise we seem to be stuck in a real-life version of Groundhog’s Day. So yesterday I opened and thoroughly enjoyed the recent estate-bottled Chardonnay from Hosmer Winery.
After tasting this wine, I was inspired to make a classic risotto with a lemony twist, followed by a small cheese plate featuring the last ripe pear in the fridge. A few solid squeezes of a lemon, as well as some grated zest, helped highlight the bright citrus flavors of the wine. The winemaker’s tasting notes describe the nose as offering hints of orange blossom and meyer lemon. Its midpalate has flavors like brioche and lemon yogurt, and it finishes with hints of tropical fruit like green mango and papaya.
And alongside the cheese—aged Parmigiano Reggiano and a Bayley Hazen Blue from Vermont—I served some Ithaca Honey, pita chips, and pistachios.
The creamy and crunchy textures, intermingling with the pear and honey flavors, all played super nicely with those found in the Chardonnay. As it is more Burgundian than Californian in style, I find the probability for creating a great pairing is significantly better. It is a style I overwhelmingly prefer and I’m delighted that many of our Finger Lakes producers are releasing such beautiful Chardonnays.
These are wines that are textured and rich and expressive, but in a balanced and precise way.
Hosmer chooses mainly stainless steel fermentation for this varietal, limiting its oak exposure to only 20% of the blend. Their wood program consists of a combination of new French oak and neutral French and American oak. Not a defining fact, but it demonstrates a careful attention to detail by a serious producer. And thanks to vines that date back to 1975, they are fortunate to be working with the right ingredients that don’t need to be manipulated.
Very happy re-discovery from a long-respected winery. I encourage you to give this wine a whirl, especially folks who normally don’t love Chardonnay. This one is a stunner. It’s available to order direct from the winery’s website and from fine wine purveyors.
Harvest Date: September 30, 2018
Bottled: August 20, 2019
Quantity: 525 cases
Brix at Harvest: 21.3º
T.A. 7.6 g/L
R.S. 3 g/L
Hosmer Winery; 7020 Route 89 in Ovid; 14521; 607-869-3393; www.hosmerwinery.com
Richy Petrina founded Ithaca Wine Ventures in June of 2019 to elevate and amplify the region and its exceptional producers. The startup’s latest project, WINEcsa.org, is a wine club from the Finger Lakes featuring a different winery each month, with local drop-offs and nationwide shipping.