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Apr 30

Derby Days: Wild Horse Chardonnay

Last weekend, Party Town hosted a tasting of Wild Horse wines. The tasting included a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet, but what caught my interest was the vertical tasting of Chardonnay.

If you’re not familiar with the terms, just know that you can have horizontal wine tastings and vertical tastings.

  • Horizontal: No, this does not mean drink until you are knocked flat. It means that the wines are all from the same vintage but from different wineries. For instance, you could do a horizontal tasting of 1995 Sonoma Valley Pinot Noirs to see how different wineries dealt with the grapes in the same year or try a horizontal tasting of different grapes from the same winery, all from 2005. The only requirement in a horizontal tasting is a consistent vintage.
  • Vertical: We had a vertical tasting at Party Town. A vertical tasting is one in which the wine is the same but the vintages differ. In this case, we tasted Wild Horse Chardonnay from 2004, 2006, and 2008. It allowed us to compare the changes in the wine during each vintage.

It was surprising the differences in each vintage of the Chardonnay.

2008, 2004, 2006 Wild Horse Winery Chardonnay, Party Town (@ Turfway), $12.99 per bottle

We started with the 2008. Kevin and I had differing opinions on this one. I thought it was the lightest, although it had spice on the nose. He thought it had the heaviest oak flavor.
Our score is the same, even if our opinions wildly differed:

Next we tried the 2006 vintage. This was hands-down my favorite of the three. We both thought the 2006 had a nice roundness to it, with a lot of creaminess bringing up the finish. If this was a horse race, I’d have bet on 2006.
Our score:

We finished with the oldest vintage, the 2004. Kevin this to be more Old World, and I would agree. At this point, the wine had found its more earthy flavors, complemented by some smokiness.
Our score:  

Wild Horse is actually a California winery, located south of Paso Robles and making wines from the Central Coast. They’ve been making wine over 25 years and use the slogan “Unbridled Spirit.”  I don’t know if they realize that’s also the slogan on our Kentucky license plates, and for this week, I say Wild Horse Winery is honorary Kentucky.  Happy Derby Week!

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Posted by Michelle at 10:23 am in Tastings | Permalink | Comments (2)

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