Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding Your Chardonnay Style

Chardonnay comes in many different styles. Some are light and elegant, other soft and round. There are bold Chardonnays full with striking, ripe flavors and spicy Chardonnays that are just perfect for these early fall days.

I've been tasting a lot of Chardonnays lately, and here are some of my favorites from the new releases. No matter which kind of Chardonnay you prefer, I think you'll find one here that fits your taste and your budget--and they all represent very good QPR.

Soft: 2007 Bridlewood Estate Winery Chardonnay ($15; available for $11-$16). A small amount of Viognier and other white varieties are blended into this wine, and it shows in the flowery, pear, and golden delicious aromas. The flavors are soft and creamy, like baked apples. Smooth and round, the wine has a juicy aftertaste.

Bold: 2007 Chatom Vineyards Chardonnay ($18; available for $18-$20) A big, bold Chardonnay with aromas of vanilla bean, quince, and pear. The flavors are predominantly apple and pear, too, and there are herbs and cream on the tangy finish. Round and full in the mouth and 14.9% alc/vol.

Elegant: 2008 Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay Unoaked Russian River Valley ($18) This lovely bottle of wine has a very restrained style. I enjoyed the faint aromas of pear, mineral, and salt, as well as the light, fresh lemon and pear flavors. The finish is crisp, juicy, and clean.

Spicy: 2008 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Alamos ($13; available for under $9) A spicy chardonnay, with aromas of fall baking: apple, allspice, and nutmeg. The wine is lush and spicy in the mouth, too, with citrus and apple notes and a spicy vanilla aftertaste.

Full Disclosure: I received these wines as samples.


Claire Uncorked said...

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Chard...but I always, always give it a shot! I have friends that just adore the oak & butter, & I don't share their love... I like balance in any wine, but mostly in a Chard. Especially if it's seen some oak!

This post has actually made me want some Chard, though. That's almost historic. Good thing I have the Naked Chardonnay from Four Vines chilling....

Wine Gift Baskets said...

This aromatic Chardonnay displays ripe aromas and pure flavors of nectarin, Mandarin oranges and fresh apples. Notes of Vanilla and spice lead to a rich mid-palate structured with a lime and mineral finish