The Icicle Ridge 2007 Ice Wine Chardonnay is a deep golden straw colored wine. The nose of this dessert wine is intensely aromatic with deep caramel, freshly cracked walnuts, brandied pears, cinnamon on the nose. The flavors start on the palate with pear with a hint of lemon and finishes with toffee almond.
During the worldwide virtual Chardonnay tasting, I wanted to taste and share something really different from the buttery oaky chardonnays I knew others would be drinking. This Chardonnay is a special wine. For this estate wine, Icicle Ridge Winery hand picked estate Chardonnay grapes on December 10, 2007, when the temperature was only 12° F and the grapes were frozen on the vine. The water in the grape freezes but the sugar does not, creating an exceptionally sweet must, 42 Brix. Unlike some other late harvest dessert wines, ice wines are made with healthy grapes free of botrytis (noble rot). This gives these dessert wines an excellent acid sugar balance. The Icicle Ridge Ice Wine Chardonnay clocks in at 12 Brix but it isn’t syrupy sweet. The acid balance and complexity of this wine won over everyone at the tasting, even me who typically shuns dessert wines.
I don’t usually have the opportunity to taste this wine as it is one of Ed’s all time favorites. I usually pass my glass to Ed and derive all of my pleasure from watching him delight in this wine. He is so ecstatic about this wine it is like watching Scooby with a Scooby snack! This time, I had an entire glass for myself. It gave me the opportunity to really appreciate this ice wine.
I put together a cheese and fruit plate for dessert. This ice wine Chardonnay pairs really nice with praline pecans, bringing out the spice in the wine. The strawberries are delicate this time of year but were delicious paired with this Washington state ice wine and were Nancy’s favorite pairing. I really loved the fresh mango. The sweetness between the mango and the ice wine were well balanced and the pairing made them both more interesting to me. The Camembert cheese was a lusciously creamy accompaniment to Icicle Ridge Winery 2007 Ice Wine Chardonnay. The Bermuda Triangle goat cheese was pretty potent on its own. A smidgen of Bermuda Triangle smeared on an apple or pear slice worked with this Washington dessert wine. The wine softened the sharper edges of the cheese while still serving as a tangy contrast to the sweet and nutty wine.
The 2008 Icicle Ridge Winery Estate Ice Wine Chardonnay is the current vintage available at the winery. I haven’t tried that vintage yet, but I look forward to it!