Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Find, April 4th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this", and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending, we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.


The bicycle has come a long way and yet it remains largely the same machine it's always been. Two pedals, handlebars, a saddle, wheels and a frame. The racing machines of yesteryear were certainly far simpler than they are today. Fausto Coppi won the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the World Championship on bikes like this 1952 Bianchi Specialissima. The thing probably weighed thirty pounds. My full carbon cyclocross bike weighs like sixteen. These were tough guys, really skinny, but undeniably tough. 

Today's racing bicycles are so new fangled and fancy Fausto Coppi would just roll his eyes. Carbon fiber frames, wheels and even saddles. Hell the 2014 version of the bicycle that will be used by the Cannondale team, the frame weighed one and a half pounds. Carbon bicycles, wheels and fancy bells and whistles certainly let you go faster by cutting down on the weight, but they're not always the most comfortable ride. That's where steel comes in and why steel bicycles today are still in demand.

A time trial bike used by Fabian Cancellara
The steel frame movement has been left to small, artisan hand welded and built bicycle frames. They are works of art in many cases, as beautiful as they are functional. Steel frames offer comfort and durability and have come a long way in terms of their weight. Steel is sexy, it's historic and it's classic. 

Today's Friday Find reminds us that steel is real when it comes to white wines as well. The Inox Chardonnay from Chehalem Wines is to steal a line from their label "Inoxydable is French for stainless steel and Chehalem for fresh, lush Chardonnay." The 2012 Inox is a great presentation of a riper rounder vintage in the warm year of 2012. The stainless steel treatment invigorates this crisp wine and gives it great angularity and freshness. Aromatics of peach skin, apple blossom, lavender and wet stone. The palate is rounded and ripe but again steel comes in with crisp freshness and preserves the wines great acidity. Flavors of apricot and lemon creme and a zippy acidity make this $19 Chardonnay a great wine for shellfish or if you're just feeling selfish. #SteelisReal. 


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