I wasn't a big fan of this sparkling wine, but I do like its cause, which is why I'd like to share with all of my readers. Iron Horse Vineyards, primarily known of their sparkling, produces a series of bottles in which each purchase donates $4 to ocean reservation. Each label is 100% Chardonnay. I believe the only difference is the image on the label. (Side note: I purchased the one with the sea turtle... I like sea turtles.) I do, very much, enjoy the partnership Iron Horse Vineyards has made, and its contribution to a worthwhile cause.
The wine itself was designed to pair well with seafood. Iron Horse Vineyards provides a link to National Geographic which hosts several seafood recipes to pair with the 2005 Ocean Reserve, including "Oyster Risotto with Butternut Squash, Creme Fraiche, and Fresh Herbs," "Grilled Mackerel with Fig and Citrus Dressing," and Tilapia with Cauliflower Puree and Maple-Cranberry Sauce." For all you seafood and ocean lovers out there - you should get on this! Whole Foods is nationally supporting the cause and supplying this wine to all wine buyers out there. Cheers to Iron Horse Vineyards for their contribution!
Photo from Iron Horse Vineyards
The D-2010 Scale
2005 Ocean Reserve by Iron Horse Vineyards (Green Valley in Russian River Valley, California, USA)
Appearance (10 points possible): pale yellow color, very effervescent with large bubbles - 8 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Aroma was subdued with hints of green apples, citrus, and slight yeast character. - 10 points
Taste (10 points possible): Very acidic and effervescent. Some flavors of fresh green apples and citrus. Bubbles tingle your nose through the end. Finish is slightly sweetened. - 6 points
Balance (5 points possible): For a sparkling wine, not of perfect balance. Essentially, however, the wine was made to pair with seafood. Not doing it much justice to drink on its own. - 3 points
Finish (5 points possible): Finish is acidic and slightly sweet. Lingers slightly. - 3 points
Add 50 points for attempt, packaging, closure, etc.
Total Points: 80
Overall Thought: Like I said, not one of my favorite sparkling wines. But I paid for it to support the cause. Probably would've been better served with seafood, as suggested by Iron Horse Vineyards.
Food Pairings: Seafood - see National Geographic.
Cost: About $40 depending on where you purchase it
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 3 - I can see where this bubbly is a bit expensive. I guess it depends on whether or not you want to support the "reserve the ocean" cause or not. But I encourage a taste. Why not? You may like it better than me! (And if you do, please let me know!)
Where to buy: Distributed nationally through select Whole Foods stores or order online if you can: Iron Horse Vineyards. Cheers to you... and our ocean! After the 2010 oil spill, I think our oceans need our support!