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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wine Review: Bridge Lane Chardonnay & Rosé Cans

June is Bridge Lane & Lieb Cellars Month on!

Bridge Lane is the entry level label for Lieb Cellars out of the North Fork of Long Island, New York.  One of the cool things about Bridge Lane is that it comes in all sorts of sizes, and you can see each size drawn on the label. From left to right: bottles, boxes, cans, and kegs. Yup. Kegs!

I've had a great relationship with Lieb Cellars for four years now and their wines have been on this blog many times. To learn more about both Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane, check out my article A Brief History of Lieb Cellars - On the North Fork of Long Island, New York from 2016. With everything you need to know about them there I'm gonna jump right into the reviews. Click here to see all of the reviews done so far this month.

Monkey on a bicycle

People scoffed at canned wine when it first came out, like most things that are innovative and different. Spiked Seltzer was hilarious when it was first put on cooler runs and now it's huuuuuge. The iPad was considered useless because it didn't have a flash drive. When the Segway PT was announced, it got a slamming of epic proportions. Bicycles. Cheeseburgers. UMBRELLAS.

All of these things were initially ridiculed, as was (and is) canned wine. But more people are realizing how effective cans are at keeping both red and white wine fresh, and just how useful it is to have half a bottle of Chardonnay or rosé in an ice cold aluminum container right out of the cooler. The category is growing and it will continue to grow so you might as well start accepting it as a thing. Because it's not just the likes of Flip Flop and Barefoot. There's also the likes of Underwood, 90+ Cellars, and Bridge Lane.

So here I am with two cans of Bridge Lane's wine. I'm not going to give them scores but I will tell you what I think of them. Why aren't I giving them scores like I do bottles? I think the point is different. Yeah, Underwood Pinot Noir is in a can so you can enjoy a quality fresh Pinot anywhere. These guys are in a can so you can crush them at the beach while also not drinking crappy wine.

The 2017 Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay and was fermented for forty-two days at 60°F, using VL1 yeast for its slower fermentation rate. It saw no maceration, no malolactic fermentation, and three months of maturation in stainless steel tanks. So this is an unoaked Chard. Harvest was in October 2017, canning was in January 2018, and it has a 12.5% ABV.

The wine is straw yellow in color. On the nose a yeasty cloud floats over aromas of lemon and nectarine. On the palate it's medium to full bodied with a rounded mouthfeel yet a brisk acidity. There's flavors of tart lemon, nectarine, and honeysuckle. This a simple, straight-forward Chardonnay that's meant to be enjoyed without pretense. Perfect for your canned wine needs. NOTE: The Chardonnay is better poured into a wine glass than it is consumed straight from the can.

The 2017 Rosé is 45% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot, 16% Malbec, 8% Pinot Noir, and 4% Pinot Blanc. It was fermented for forty days at 60°F using Fermol Rouge yeast. There was five hours of pre-prepping maceration, zero malolactic fermentation, and then an undisclosed amount of time aging in 100% stainless steel. Harvest was in October 2017, canning was in January of 2018, and it has a 11.9% ABV.

The color of the wine is salmon pink and the nose is alive with peaches, strawberries and watermelon. On the palate it's light to medium bodied with soft tannin and tart acidity. The fruit is much more laid back and nuanced in the mouth than it is on the nose. Still, it's peaches, strawberries, and watermelon that make up the profile. I mean, chill it up and you can knock it back easily. But I don't think it's a rosé to put much thought into. NOTE: The Rosé is better consumed straight from the can than it is poured into a glass.

Unfortunately, important family stuff (sick kid) happened during the writing of this review so a YouTube video was not filmed.

The cans used were supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.
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