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Charity Case is the latest side project by winemaking superstar Jayson Woodbridge. Whilst Jayson isn’t exactly a household name, the wines he produces are certainly getting that way. You may know Mr. Woodbridge from such wines as Layer Cake and Hundred Acre.
The Charity Case Foundation was formed in’08 as a long-term project in support of Napa Valley Charities. Jayson started by calling wineries in the Valley to see if they would donate their excess juice in order to create the wine for Charity Case line. So far the Rose and Sauvignon Blanc are the only two wines available, however Chardonnay juice was donated in 2010, and there are more varietals in the pipeline. The really cool thing is that all services are volunteered and ALL proceeds go directly to the charities.
I (as well as a bunch of other wine bloggers) were sent a bottle of each of his wines for review. It would have therefore really SUCKED if the wines were terrible!!! However if you know much about Jayson Woodbridge, you will know that he won’t put his name on just any swill.
The Sauv Blanc was totally not was I was expecting, mainly because I always read the nerdy technical notes after I have tasted the wine. I do this so I don’t get any preconceived ideas before I delve into the glass. I was thinking it would bright and zingy in a New Zealand style, but it was much more full bodied than anticipated.
The wine is fermented in new French oak barrels, whereas the trend now seems to be (particulary with NZ SB) 100% stainless steel fermentation. The Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc is creamy, with vanilla and distinct tropical fruit character. There’s a little peach and apricot in there as well. A hint of citrus, but not much, with the oak adding complexity and a spicy note.
Great nose on the Charity Case Rose! I’m not going to lie, my EXACT words upon first giving it a sniff were “Ooo, sh*t!”
Raspberry and rhubarb virtually jump out of the glass at you. The palate shows a complex blend of the expected red-fruit of strawberry, raspberry, and a little cranberry. Don’t be expecting White Zin though, there is a little residual sugar, but not much. In a similar vein to the Sauv Blanc, the rose leans toward fuller bodied. Finishes long and dry. A perfect patio wine!