Name That Chateau
All I ever wanted for Christmas was my own chateau. That's not in the cards this year, so I just opted for the next best thing. I went to the Chateau Souverain website and designed a custom Chateau Whitley label to place on my bottle of Chateau Souverain Chardonnay.
I chose the chardonnay ($13.99 a bottle) because it's my idea of a good white wine for winter and I know winemaker Ed Killian, who's been there two and a half decades and is a master of the balance between fruit and oak.
I plan to use my Chateau Whitley wines as gifts this holiday season. The concept of a customized label is hardly new. Many restaurants, for example, contract with their favorite winery to craft private-label wines with the restaurant's name on the bottle.
Souverain is now delivering the same service to consumers with one difference: When a restaurant orders a private-label wine, the wine typically arrives with the label on the bottle. The Souverain model requires the consumer to purchase the Souverain wine independently and manually affix the label, which will be shipped to the consumer free of charge.
I asked Souverain spokesman Lon Gallagher how easy it would be for me to apply the Chateau Whitley Chardonnay label myself.
"It's as easy as putting a stamp on an envelope," Gallagher said.
Even I can do that. So I can spread plenty of good cheer with my own Chateau Whitley Chardonnay now through the end of the holidays! Note that if you can't find the Souverain wines at your local wine shop, they are available on Amazon.
Wines are rated on a 100-point scale. Wines are chosen for review because they represent outstanding quality or value, and the scores are simply a measure of this reviewer's enthusiasm for the recommended wine.
Cantina Bolzano 2016 Kerner, Alto Adige, Italy ($20) -- Kerner is a grape variety that's rarely seen outside of northern Italy and is a bit of a mystery because it makes very interesting, delicious white wine. Planted on the slopes of Mount Renon in the Isarco Valley, the Cantina Bolzano Kerner expresses stony minerality, luscious notes of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, bright acidity and impressive length. Clean and refreshing, it can be served with light appetizers of simply as an aperitif. Rating: 93.