GSN Review: The Clambake Un-oaked Chardonnay & Limited Edition Rosé Wines

As a seasoned “clambaker,” sommelier, and culinary school graduate, founder and leader, Mary McAuley, had an “ah-ha” moment when charged with the task of selecting the wine for a clambake she threw with her friends back in August 2011 in her seaside hometown of Mantoloking, NJ. What started with the humble intention of making a “family wine” for personal clambakes turned into a local cult following when McAuley realized the void for trustworthy brands on the american wine market, and felt compelled to bring her idea to the masses. Ripe life’s first wine, the clambake chardonnay, hit the shelves in July 2013 and was an instant success.

At ripe life, Mary oversees every aspect of production, from vineyard procurement to winemaking direction with her team. She is solely responsible for creative direction, business development, and the sales and marketing of over 20 major wholesale markets.

The single-vineyard Mendocino chardonnay is picked slightly under-ripe, and aged in stainless steel tanks, resulting in an atypically light, clean, and smooth expression of California chardonnay. Letting the grapes from this amazing region speak for themselves, Ripe Life’s winemaking techniques result in a chardonnay that is curiously delicate with notes of lemon verbena, green apple, citrus zest and crisp minerality. Perfect for a seafood feast.

The limited edition rosé is made from some of the very best old-vine Carignan from Mendocino. Picked in its youth and crushed ever so lightly, Ripe Life has created a rosé with both delicate, acid-driven structure, but is also refreshingly crisp and will cut through the richness of a typical clambake.

GSN’s Thoughts: Both of these wines are on the dry and somewhat tart side, which make them ideal for enjoying with a meal. We especially liked the Rose which had a slight berry flavor. The Chardonnay had some of the usual butter, but it was quite subdued. Both of these are fine for a summer seafood feast, or a French style brunch. GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Ripe Life Wines