This is a great option if you are looking for a nice, easy drinking, fruit forward style of Chardonnay and it is made from Organically grown grapes – meaning only organic materials are allowed to be used in the vineyards. The 2011 Santa Julia Chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel tanks. You get lots of green apple and tropical fruits on the palate with just a hint of vanilla on the finish but the wine is crisp and bright. A nice option for a house white wine and you can feel good about the fact that no chemicals were used in the grape growing process – what’s not to like, especially at a price point under $15.
I tasted this little value Chardonnay last week and loved it! That simple! The wines are part of a sort of co-op project – each varietal coming from a different region. They are meant to be inexpensive, fun, solid value wines. I got to taste the line up and while there were a few nice options, the Chardonnay was what jumped out at me as the best quality for the money.
The labels are fun and quirky but it’s what is inside the bottle that counts. This is a great option for those that love a lighter style of Chardonnay – lots of bright, crisp, juicy fruit on the palate (think crisp green apple, melon, some lemon zest) – but with a softer, rounder finish. Just a hint of oak gives it that bit of vanilla and creaminess which is nice. I believe the fruit is sourced from southern France.
While sometimes we are looking for our great every day values, other times we may be looking for that wine that offers just a little bit “more”. Here are some of our favs!
Abbot’s Table 2008
Columbia Valley, Washington
Varietal: ok are you ready for this? 24% Zinfandel, 22% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Blaufrankish, 4% Malbec
This blend is from one of my favorite wine production areas – Columbia Valley, Washington. Think super dark and rich, but not in an over ripe, jammy way. Layers of flavors like blackberry and plum and cherry and dark chocolate – this is a seriously delicious wine with structure. LOVE this!
Groth Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Big and lush, lots of fruit, very rich. But soft on the palate. Elegant and not overwhelming. Balanced. This is a top quality Cab and worth the ticket price if you are looking for something with true star quality.
Selene Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
This was one of the first Sauvignon Blanc wines that I have tried where I could distinctly see the difference in quality and taste. Round on the palate. Lush. Rich, if that is even a way to describe a whitw wine of this nature. You get the bright tropical flavors and lemon – citrus flavors you would expect from a Sauvignon Blanc but more of a round, creamy finish, more typical of a Chardonnay. This is a serious white wine. Seriously, very enjoyable.
Lemelson “Thea’s Selection” Pinot Noir 2007
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
I bought this wine for the shop after tasting it at a trade show a few months back and was so intrigued by it. It really stuck with me ( which can be hard when you are tasting so many different wines) and I knew we had to have it on the shelves. It is so soft, sophisticated – layered with smoky flavors, coffee, tea, spice, etc…. SMOOTH on the palate. Very very elegant and super delicious. This wine will make you a fan of the Willamette valley if you are not one already.
La Massa Toscana 2007
Varietal: Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot
This is probably my favorite red wine we carry. Classicly balanced – bright red fruit, spice, old world style, earthiness and elegance intertwined. It is bright yet still complex. It transports me – in the Tuscan countryside eating pasta topped with rich red sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano and crusty Italian bread soaked in olive oil – and considering that I am on a low carb kick right now I am angry that I even had to type those words. But I want you to envision how one would find the most enjoyment from this killer wine:)
Scherrer Chardonnay 2008
Sonoma County, California
I tasted this along with some other higher end Chardonnay and was instantly drawn to the Scherrer over others that had some more press / higher ratings. It was so unique – I awaited the day I was having a night to myself at home to pop open a bottle and truly enjoy the experience. The contrast between the pear and lemon/lime flavors and the creme brule, toasty vanilla flavors was undeniable. This is my top Chardonnay recommendation to Chardonnay lovers who are looking for something balanced yet that has a lot of power behind it. You won’t be forgetting this one.