Review: Waterstone Winery Chardonnay and Merlot

A Honda Accord Wine For The Pottery Barn Crowd

Bottom Line: Correct varietal characteristics made in way that ensures mass appeal.  Right down the middle.

The Rest Of The Story: (Full disclosure: These wines were received as press samples from the winery's PR firm.)  These wines ought to do well on the upper shelves at suburban grocery stores.  They're right down the middle and have mass appeal the same way that Pottery Barn does - safe, fashionable, and neutral.  And if you're a "Napa or nuthin'" shopper, you'll love the price.

What's so wrong about being right down the middle?  Nothing.  You've had these wines before.  You know exactly what to expect.  They are exactly what they claim to be - Carneros Chard and Napa Merlot - nothing more, nothing less. 

Adventure-seekers, on the other hand, will want to pursue arousal elsewhere... 

2008 Waterstone Chardonnay Carneros $18
Pale straw color and - wow - jumpy aromatics that don't wait for you to stick your nose in the glass.  When you do, low and behold, it smells like Chardonnay.  Tastes like it, too.  Right down the middle California Chardonnay with some polish and a welcome dose of soft acids that meet pasta, seafood, and lighter vegan fare proudly.

2007 Waterstone Merlot Napa Valley $18
The density of Pinot Noir, but with less violet color.  Slightly fast/hot nose, but not unpleasantly so.  Like the Chard, right down the middle.  True varietal characteristics with enough Cab-like sharpness to make it a meat-loving companion.  Medium-bodied with lingering tannins indicate a few years would do this wine wonders.  A few days after opening only reinforces that notion.  Nothing to not like here, nor anything to wet your pants about.