Friday, March 13, 2009

Owl Creek Chardonel

Agent Triple P has never had a wine from Illinois before so when he saw one on the list at his hotel bar in Washington he had to try it.

Owl creek is in the Shawnee Hill's region of southern Illinois which only got it's American Viticultural Area designation in 2006. Indeed much of the work to achieve this was due to the work of Dr Ted Wichmann who founded Owl Creek Vineyard in 1995. There are now 18 wineries and 55 vineyards in the area.

The wine, while being oaked, is not offensively so and whilst being quite perfumed in a peachy way has an unusual lime citrus finish which means it doesn't have that strong Californian type oily quality which puts us off much West Coast chardonnay. A very pleasant lunchtime wine and our companion and I enjoyed it with a lobster salad.

The Chardonel is a late ripening hybrid grape created by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. One of its key characteristics is that it is very hardy in colder climates.