My Conversation with Winemaker Chris Christensen - Founder and Head Honcho at Bodkin Wines

Last month I had the pleasure of speaking with Founder, Head Honcho, and Winemaker Chris Christensen at Bodkin Wines.  I thought my conversation would be just about Bodkin Wines, well it was so much more. This conversation was not only a story of wine and winemaking but of triumph against all odds.......................................

Chris Christensen is the Founder, Head Honcho, and Winemaker at Bodkin Wines.  The story behind Bodkin Wines is a fascinating one that dates back to the 100 Years War.

Chris Christensen is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Chris grew up in a traditional non-drinking household.  Chris shared with me “fine dining” was not a part of his everyday life and that the closest he got was the new Applebee’s or Red Lobster in his town.  Now, let me say I love both so this is no dig at either. 

After graduating from Stanford University, Chris knew a suit, tie, nor 9-5 was a part of his future.  Instead guided by the line “We few, we happy few” from Shakespeare’s King Henry V, started his own winery for less money you could buy a car and labels plucked directly from 15th century Battle of Agincourt. 

Chris, got his wine shoes starting out as an intern at Gallo laboratories and from there had the amazing opportunity to work harvest in both Australia and New Zealand.  Chris started his winery and bottled his first bottle of wine in 2011.

 Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

Chris named his winery Bodkin Wines.  I had to ask the definition of Bodkin.  Chris explained that Bodkin is an armor piercing spear head that helped defeat the French.  How apropos because Bodkin wines has pierced the wine industry with some really amazing and unique wines.

The Bodkin Wines brand is synonymous with America’s first Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.  Bodkin Wines is a great story of triumph, easy drinking wines, at a good value that pair well with great days, great foods, and great friends.  As a Certified Specialist of Wine I have tasted many wines and had conversations with many winemakers.  I have not however, met a winemaker who has triumphed over as much. 

As a plus to having a conversation with the “Head Honcho” I was also able to sample each of the wines in the Bodkin wines portfolio.  

 Preparing for the Bodkin Wine tasting

Preparing for the Bodkin Wine tasting

My offering of tasting notes below:

The flagship wine of this winery in my opinion is its Sparking Sauvignon Blanc.  Yes, I said Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.  It is not your everyday Sauvignon Blanc with bubbles.  This sparkling definitely has a personality all its own.

Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Cuvee Agincourt - Brut

  • Appearance:  Clear, Medium intensity, Lemon color, fast dissipating legs and a watery rim – all good for this wine.
  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium/medium plus intensity, with aromatics of grapefruit, white flowers, and this wine is deliciously youthful, fun, and ready to drink.

  • Palate:  The wine is dry, the mousse is delicate yet you definitely feel the sparkle, a citrus salad in the mouth, with a hint of nuttiness.  A beautiful combination.

 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – “The Victor’s Spoils” – 91 points Editor’s Choice Wine Enthusiast

  • Appearance:  Clear, medium intensity, lemon in color, fast dissipating legs and a watery rim – all good for this wine.

  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium intensity, with aromas of citrus, nectarines, and magnolia blooms and the wine is youthful.

  • Palate:  The wine is off-dry, medium/medium plus acidity, no tannins, full of citrusy goodness, white flowers, the wine is ready to drink now on a great spring or summer day.

 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – “Musque Clone” – 92 points Editor’s Choice Wine Enthusiast

  • Appearance:  Clear medium plus intensity, lemon/light gold in color. 

  • Nose:   The condition is clean, medium plus intensity with aromas of orange peel, tangerine and a hint of honey.

  • Palate:  The wine is off dry, medium acidity, no tannins, medium alcohol, medium plus body.  Very round mouthfeel, citrus but not green fruits definitely rounder, softer, citrus notes.  This wine has some structure.  This wine was a sheer delight the Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc made for a great unique combination. LOVE!!!  You could lay this one down – you can drink now but has potential for age.

 2014 Dry Muscat Canelli – 89 points Wine Enthusiast

  • Appearance:  The wine is clear, with medium/medium plus intensity, gold in color.

  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium plus intensity, with aromas of orange peel, lemon, dried grapefruit, ripe citrus, and stone fruits.

  • Palate:  The wine is dry, medium plus acidity, no tannins, medium/medium plus alcohol.  This full of baked fruits, stone fruits with great balance and complexity.  DELICIOUS!

 2013 The Albino – Skin Fermented Sauvignon

  • Appearance:  My glass revealed a wine that had not gone through fining or filtration which is not a bad thing. In this wine it is quite good.  The wine has medium intensity, lemon yellow in color.

  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium plus intensity, with aromas of apricot, honeysuckle, citrus, and floral notes.

  • Palate:  The wine is off-dry, medium acidity, definite skin contact, medium/medium plus alcohol.  The wines structure and taste is wonderfully unique.  Citrus, lemon zest, followed by a smoky, nutty roundness that really creates a wine that is layered full of body and flavor.  This wine is more than a sipping wine.  This wine is meal worthy and not just fish and chicken.  Drink this wine now but it definitely has potential for some age.

 2013 Zifandel

  • Appearance:  The wine is clear, medium intensity, beautiful ruby color, and medium moving legs after the swirl.

  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium intensity, with aromas of red fruits, it is a red berry salad on the nose. 

  • Palate:  The wine is dry, medium plus acidity, medium, round tannins, medium alcohol, medium plus body.  There is influence of oak, vanilla, red fruits, and spice.  I really enjoyed this wine. 

 2013 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

  • Appearance:  The wine is clear, medium plus intensity, lemon-gold in color.

  • Nose:  The condition is clean, medium/medium plus intensity, with aromas of ripe fruits (citrus and stone), honey, and marmalade.

  • Palate:  The wine is sweet, medium acidity, no tannins, with honey notes, baked fruits, honeysuckle, and praline – YUMMY!!!

I had a great time speaking with Chris.  I love the story behind Bodkin Wines and I love the wines.  

Bodkin Wines can be purchased at http://shop.bodkinwines.com/.  Although, ready to be able to purchase Bodkin Wines in the Atlanta market.  Chris is working on it :-)

We need a new hashtag #bodkinwinesatl

 Cheers!!!