Review: Wines of Wente, 2020 Releases
California’s Wente isn’t sitting out the Coronavirus when it comes to innovation. The winery recently rolled out an app for voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant, designed to help guide you through the intricacies of a Wente wine tasting. We don’t review apps here so much, but we do like to pop open the vino, so let’s dig into the winery’s latest.
2018 Wente Chardonnay Arroyo Seco Riva Ranch Vineyard – An oak barrel bomb that pulls no punches, this is a full on exploration of vanilla and barrel char, filtered through some mild notes of honeydew and baking spice. The creamy body melds well with all of the above, but the overall experience never overwhelms with complexity or nuance. B- / $17
2018 Wente Chardonnay Morning Fog Livermore Valley – A fresher style of chardonnay with much less oak, and more easily approachable. Nougat, almond, and coconut notes dominate here, with light notes of gooseberry and guava, though the fruit is quite understated, finishing with more of a nutty character that lingers for some time. Definitely more of a crowd-pleaser, with lemon and apricot notes that emerge as the wine warms up. B / $12
2018 Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley – Blunt and jammy, this is a tenuous cabernet that tastes overcooked to the point of lifelessness, a maraschino cherry juice character that’s filtered through milk chocolate, vanilla, and crushed strawberries. There’s a slight raspberry note that at least elevates this beyond plonk, but not much. C- / $13