Coolshanagh is a Gaelic term meaning “a meeting place of friends”. It is at this place on the Naramata Bench that Skip and Judy Stothert in 2003 started their organically farmed vineyard, with a limestone studded soil, to grow their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and produce wines in a Burgundian style to share with me and you. I received a bottle of their 2017 Chardonnay to try and an invitation to interview Skip this week. There are many things I learned about Skip and Coolshanagh that I am looking forward to sharing with you in my interview article. But for now, let me tell you about their 2017 Chardonnay.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2017
The grapes were harvested on October 27. 85% of the grapes were fermented in Italian concrete tanks with the balance in neutral French puncheons. The wines were aged on lees for ten months and bottled on July 2018. 560 cases of this wine were produced.
Appearance: A bright deep golden lemon colour.
Nose: A rich ripe nose, with pineapple mainly, followed with medium toasty oak, vanilla, ripe pear and apple aromas. With decanting the aromas persisted but you could add some butterscotch and a touch of lemon.
Palate: Dry, but very round, and thick, with pronounced fruit flavours. A buttery mouthfeel that is combined together with bright acidity and prickle on your tongue, to keep the wine from being too heavy. Lots of tropical fruit, ripe pineapple in particular, plus baked apples and pears. Peppery from the mid-palate to finish. Touches of oak and stoniness as well. The wine became smoother with decanting, with less acidic prickle. There was also more oakiness and less pepperiness. The majority of pineapple flavour continued. I then gave this wine another longer decant, and the wine became softer and lighter-bodied, but still silky and buttery. If you are going to decant this wine, I’d suggest giving it a longer decant, e.g. open in the morning, for an evening meal.
Finish: It has a medium-plus length finishing smooth and peppery with pineapple and oak flavour, and the buttery texture. With decanting the wine had a smoother finish, with similar flavours and mouthfeel.
This big, rich Chardonnay would work very well with a rich dish such as steamed lobster with drawn butter, steamed smoked black cod topped with butter, or chicken with Hollandaise sauce. No need to decant this wine, but no need to rush to finish the bottle in one sitting. Decanting does soften it and make it a little lighter-bodied. Could definitely age a few years without issue.
Rating: with decanting. This is a big buttery Chardonnay with ripe pineapple, vanilla, ripe pear and apple flavours and aromas. Very round, thick, buttery texture on the palate. Some pepperiness on the finish. Decanting does soften it and make it a little lighter-bodied.