The first few times I saw this wine I thought it was Bridgeman, with an “e” in the name, but it’s Bridgman without an “e.” It’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you like that… and I swear it’s not from drinking too much wine. The wine is named after William B. Bridgman, a pioneer in Washington state winemaking. Bridgman was the first to plant wine grapes in the Yakima Valley in the early 1900’s. This Chardonnay has no direct affiliation with WB Bridgman, but was named in his honor.
The Bridgman label is produced by Apex Cellars in Washington state, which was founded in 1988 by Harry Alhadeff and Brian Carter. Alhadeff’s background is in wine retail and distribution, while Carter has spent his life as a winemaker. When Brian Carter moved to Washington in 1980, there were only 16 wineries in the state. Prior to launching Bridgman, Carter worked at Paul Thomas winery, where he twice was awarded “Winemaker of the Year” by Washington Magazine.
I wanted to include this Bridgman Chardonnay in my current series on Chardonnay, although I do have to confess that it wasn’t part of the blind tasting when I took notes on the other wines in this series. I had already completed that tasting before I recieved this wine. I also need to disclose that I have a business relationship with Barclay’s Wine, who provided the sample and sells this wine. You can read about that in this previous review for Randall Harris Merlot.
I often don’t agree with the descriptions on wine labels, but they definitely got one thing right on the label for this Chardonnay: Butterscotch. There is intense butterscotch on the nose of this wine, along with lemon, apple and melon. It certainly is an oaked Chardonnay, but it’s not over-oaked like many others that turn me off. The palate presents a crisp apple flavor, followed by a long-lasting vanilla flavor on the finish. There’s a creaminess to this wine too. In a word, I “dig” this Chardonnay.