2008 Four Gates Chardonnay
This past weekend we enjoyed a lovely bottle of Four Gates Chardonnay, one that I have held on to and one that is ready right now. The wine is not going down, but I do not see it improving much at this point. The classic approach with Four Gates Chardonnay is either to enjoy them two or three years after release, or to save them for another 5 years. Early on Four gates Chardonnay normally show tropical or summer fruits, with good bracing acidity and hints of oak. Recently, the oak has come out more in Benyo’s wines – but not like Domaine du Castel C or Yarden Chardonnay. Either way, drinking them early (within 3-4 years of release) you should expect fruit, oak, acid, and great spice. As the wine ages more, the fruit takes a back seat, the citrus comes out, along with the oak influence, and the crazy mounds of bracing acid take front stage. As it ages further, the wine turns soft, mellow, fuller, richer, but lacking much of the fruit. It is at that point – where older Four Gates Chardonnay can become pure joy in a bottle and blow one’s mind. However, if you do not hit the window perfectly, you may end up with acid juice or oak juice. So, the safest route is to enjoy it within 2 to 5 years of release and get a lovely balanced and rich Chardonnay. If you are a gambler and willing to bet a bottle or two, please set them aside and hope that you hit the window dead on, like a Hank Aaron moonshot into the upper deck!
2008 Four Gates Chardonnay – Score: B++ to A-
This wine is at its time and one that I do not see improving with time, nor anywhere near its death. The wine starts off a bit closed, but with time it opens to nice oak, citrus, peach, apricot, sweet grass, toasty almonds, lychee, grapefruit, lemon, and butterscotch. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has toasty oak, summer and tropical fruit, with spice and pepper. The finish is long with butterscotch, spicy oak, orange peel, and spice.