The Connecticut Wine Trail: Fourth Stop
The fourth stop on our journey through Connecticut wine country took us to the southern Connecticut coast and the gently sloping fields of Chamard Vineyards in Clinton. Established in 1983 by the CEO of Tiffany & Company, William R. Chaney, Chamard Vineyards has been voted “Best Wine” by Connecticut Magazine for 11 consecutive years and stretches across 40 beautiful acres, 20 of which are planted.
We tasted five of their outstanding wines: 2 Chardonnays, a Cabernet Franc, a Merlot, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. We thought the two Chards were outstanding, and this is not surprising since over 80% of their planted acreage is Chardonnay. Their classic ‘04 Chard had lots of ripe, fruity flavors and floral aromas tempered by a touch of oak and was the best we tasted. Their ‘05 Estate reserve Chard was a beautiful golden color and displayed butterscotch, apricot and honey aromas, with dried fruit and honey flavors.
The ‘06 Cabernet Franc was almost decadent, with dark chocolate, cinnamon, smoked bacon and dried fruit aromas, but was very smooth with a long, spicy, herbal finish. It would pair nicely with a nice char-broiled steak, as would the ‘06 Cabernet Sauvignon we tried. There were hints of roasted meat and cedar on the nose, and black pepper and exotic spices on the tongue. The last wine we tried was the ‘06 Merlot, and frankly it was the least appealing of the wines. It felt very light on the palate, despite some nice aromas, and didn’t quite measure up to some other Merlots we have in the past.
After the tasting, we took a bottle of the ‘04 Chardonnay and sat in the rustic tasting room to enjoy the meal we had brought with us, a perfect ending to a great day at one of Connecticut’s outstanding wineries!
Chamard Vineyards is located at 115 Cow Hill Road in Clinton, about 2 miles from Long Island Sound. Their hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM, except Friday and Saturday when they stay open until 9 PM. Be sure to take one of these great summer days and visit them soon, you’ll be glad you did!