Meet my NEIGHbors.
These three spirited horses greet me on my walks past the ranch near my house. Such a “mane” attraction they are! They love to frolic in the verdant meadow, snorting and kicking up their hooves in equine glee. When I pass by, they often stand transfixed, providing me the picture perfect Kodak moment. I’ve dubbed them “The 3 Night Mares”, and should I ever dream of owning a horse ranch, these three feisty fillies would fulfill my equine reverie.
So when I saw this bottle of 3 HORSE RANCH Chardonnay, I said, “WHOA! HOLD YOUR HORSES! This label reminds me of The 3 Night Mares!”
I took creative license with my graphics software to feature the horse trio at their nonofficial 3 Horse Ranch in Montana.
The official 3 HORSE RANCH is located high in the foothills above the town of Eagle, Idaho.
The wine hails from Idaho’s new AVA (as of November 25, 2015), Eagle Foothills, a sub AVA of the Snake River Valley AVA. The family run vineyard is dedicated to natural growing methods which minimize detrimental impacts on the environment. Natural weed management is practiced and pest control measures involve encouraging a sustainable population of beneficial insects. Hand pruning, individual vine training and hand harvesting attest to 3 HORSE RANCH’S commitment to quality and purity in their 100% naturally grown grapes.
This focus on natural growing techniques allows 3 HORSE RANCH to nurture a more intense expression of each vinifera varietal they choose to bottle. This is exhibited beautifully in their Chardonnay. Like the counterpoints in western versus English style horsemanship, this Chardonnay is rustic yet refined, hefty yet elegant, its girth camouflaging a fine-boned finesse.
Palomino gold in hue, it shimmers in the glass. On the nose, a delicious bouquet of apple pie and pear crisp waft up in aromatic tendrils, tickling my nostrils and whisking me back to grandma’s country kitchen. The first cursory sniffs are indeed delightfully fruit juicy, but upon deeper whiff I detect a subtle hint of saddle leather. On the palate, the orchard fruit flavors are girded with a Burgundian minerality lending an Old World elegance. The creamy, honeyed texture and mouth-watering acidity on the backstretch paces toward a lingering finish.
And if you allow me to engage in serious punnage, the oak has been REINED in making this an exquisitely balanced wine. From a single vineyard, it’s a PUREBRED with PEDIGREE. Only yays and no NEIGHS to this ChardonNEIGH. HOOF it to your nearest wine retailer and FILLY up your wine cellar with 3 HORSE RANCH. If I were to take a GALLOP poll, surveys would prove it’s a WINNING WINNY WINE! Come share with me an UNBRIDLED passion for the Snake River Valley terroir! Retails for approximately $18.
Okay, I’m done HORSING around!