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04 January 2005

Tortoise Creek - Char/Vio-blend

Chard_vio_botTortoise Creek is a French wine from the "d'OC" (A wine region that includes nearly all of the French Mediterranean coast).  It's categorized as a Vin de Pays, which, when loosely translated, means 'Country Wine.'  Once upon a time this category was looked down upon.  However, this category now provides the French winemaker some wiggle room.  You'll notice that this wine is labeled as a varietal (Chardonnay/Viognier), which is still somewhat rare with French wine labels (normally labeled by appellation of origin).  The label also indicates that the wine is unoaked.  This label term is an attempt to woo heavy Chardonnay-weary drinkers to this wine.  It's saying, "Yo.  I'm not heavy & sticky sweet like some Chardonnays."

I admire the effort by Tortoise Creek to make its wine more user-friendly.

The Skinny
Tortoise Creek Chardonnay/Viognier, '03 ($8)
Light gold color
Pear and apple scents with a subtle floral aroma
Medium-bodied, not overly strong in the alcohol department.  Unfortunately, slightly flabby, although some crispness exists, with not much in the way of flavor.  A fair wine at a very good price. 
**.5 (2.5 stars out of 5)

If you're in the market for a budget Viognier-based wine, try Smoking Loon Viognier.  If you want to knock your own socks off with Viognier in all its glory, try Guigal Condrieu


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