Varietal: 43% Chardonnay; 34% Pinot Gris; 19% Muscat Canelli; 4% Viognier
Region: California – USA
Cost: $15 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The Cashmere White blend has bright flavors of peach and pear, floral aromas, and toasty vanilla notes from the oak-aged Chardonnay. Enjoy this medium-bodied, slightly-sweet wine with spicy dishes, seafood pasta, or on its own.
My Review: I’ll be the first to admit that I’m always a bit wary when Muscat of any type shows up in a blend of white wine. My taste in whites swings between crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc and rounder, oaked Chardonnay, but rarely ever brings me towards the sweeter end of the white wine spectrum. It’s not that I don’t believe there’s a market or a place for those wines, it’s just that my particular palate doesn’t lean that way. There is, however, a time when I do like to have something with a bit of sweetness to it – when I’m enjoying some spicy Asian food. So, when my wife and I decided to grab some take-out that included a pair of spicy Asian dishes, I made sure this wine was cold and ready to be opened.
On the nose I picked up peach and white flower notes, though neither was particularly bold, opting instead for more subtle aromas. In the mouth the wine was medium-bodied and crisper than I expected, though still showing a good bit of roundness thanks to the Chardonnay. Floral notes and a mix of peach and pear showed in the mouth, along with a soft sweetness at the end.
Paired with dinner the sweetness of the wine completely vanished, helping to cut the heat of the dishes without completely removing it. It was actually a fairly good pairing, with the wine losing the sweetness and offering up good citrus notes that paired well with some General Tso’s Chicken and a noodle dish my wife favors that features a lot of spice.
All that being said, this was by no means my favorite white. Without the food the sweetness was too much for my taste, even though I’ll admit it wasn’t that much sweetness (1.3% Residual Sugar for the record, which really isn’t that much). Still, if you favor sweeter wines and are looking for one to pair with a spicy dish this could be up your alley and it’s a reasonable enough price for the wine.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.