Wine time

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J CHARDONNAY AND J PINOT GRIS, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, 2007

COST: $34-36 chardonnay, $19-21 pinot gris

WHAT: Both of these wines are spectacular. The chardonnay combines Old World minimalist techniques and New World fruit display. Lemon and peach aromas yield to a creamy, not quite buttery taste. It's a lush, complex chardonnay with a long, smooth finish. The pinot gris opens with aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle and peach, leading to flavors of ripe peach, Asian pear and cinnamon. Its refined texture and balanced acidity make this pinot gris an ideal wine to pair with a variety of foods

WINERY: J has become known for great sparkling wine and is extending that quality to pinot noir and chardonnay. Winemaker George Bursick joined the team in 2006 after making great wines at Ferrari-Carano for 22 years. His philosophy is that "to produce truly memorable, iconic wines, a winemaker must try things that his peers are not willing to do." He amends that to say, "Well, maybe they just haven't thought of doing some of these things."

GOES WITH: We had the chardonnay with crab legs, and it was a good pairing. This opulent chardonnay also pairs beautifully with wild mushroom bisque, white truffle essence, creme fraiche & chives. We had the Pinot Gris with shrimp cocktail and fried shrimp and onion rings. It handled both shrimp dishes well. It will go with a variety of foods. Try it with a scallop ceviche with grapefruit and avocado.

Reach Dennis Sodomka at dennis@bottlereport.com. Read his column on pinot grigio/pinot gris in the June/July issue of Augusta Magazine.

The good life

FRIDAY

Friday wine fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

SATURDAY

Saturday wine fest, Vineyard Wine Market, 1-6 p.m.

TUESDAY

Wine tasting run by Amici Italian Cafe & Prestige Wine Wholesale, 6:30- 8:30 p.m., including appetizers, at 4045 Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Exit 194 half mile off Interstate 20 next to the Hawthorn Suites Hotel. The cost is $10, with proceeds donated to Fort Gordon Booster Club. For reservations call (706) 650-7511.


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