If you’re from the Pacific NW you may have once-upon-a-time camped, picnicked or fished at Stemwinder, a government park east of Princeton on the Similkameen. Small but picturesque and close to Bromley Rocks; in the heat of the summer it’s heaven to tube between the two spots. It was my fond memory of that park from decades ago that drew me to this bottle. (That and a sale price under our arbitrary but significant $20 mark.)
Stemwinder is a chardonnay / sauvignon blanc blend (and we love blends). Great, looking forward to it. Ch-SB blends, particularly in Australia, can be magnificent. This bland, er, blend, was however a huge disappointment. It had none of the balance we anticipate with the marriage of those two grapes and was top heavy in acidity. Tongue bite acidity, as in it virtually stung the palate. Which is too bad because underneath there was the nub of a good wine trying to break through.
We swished it around several times—the wine snob Paul McCartney pursed lips mouthwash gargle swish—and it tasted nominally better but never even close to the magic promised on the label (or Road 13’s website which claims you will need a Larousse Gastronomique to decipher the contents. A little high falutin’ we thinks). In the end we corked it and cooked with the leftovers. One redeeming feature: 12.8% alcohol.
Price: Sale priced at $19.99 at Mud Bay wines, elsewhere $22.99 but for the 2010.
Market Liquidity: Not on our radar.