This is certainly a tougher assignment I have given myself then I thought it would be. I know, I know, how tough can it be tasting wine? This is true, and I am not complaining. It’s just that 61 different kinds of any wine is hard to fit in a month when I am tasting all the other wines that sales folk offer me to try. All I can say is I will give it my best shot and hope that I hit the number.

This time around I tasted chard from Washington, California and France, and found a lot of diversity in styles. I tasted chardonnay that is perfect for sipping on the porch on a summers evening, chardonnay that will match up nicely with crab or lobster, and chardonnay for pork or chicken. I also came across some chardonnay that I would not recommend to anyone. Let’s see how round two went.

2010 Cline Cellars Cool Climate Chardonnay California … 12.99

The nose on this chard was quite closed with just little hits of melon and pineapple. On the palate this chardonnay is rather one-dimensional it just kind of filled my mouth with round butter notes lacking acidity to drive any flavors. Nothing bad, just kind of blah. For the price I think you can do a lot better. 84 points

2009 Hayes Ranch “Best Foot Forward” Chardonnay Livermore, California … 7.99

Here is an example of doing better for less money! Nice bouquet of butterscotch and red delicious apple. Nice and round on the palate without going over-the-top showing notes of Pear, butterscotch, lemon and apple notes. Good flow across the palate with balanced acidity and good length on the finish. Not super complex, but very well made. 88+ points

2009 Renwood “Red Label” Chardonnay California … 7.99

Clean and creamy on the nose, nothing distinct jumps out. The palate shows creamy apple notes. The wine wants to go buttery but does not quite get there as it finishes clean and crisp. This would not be a bad chard to match up with shellfish. 86+ points

2009 Lockwood Vineyards Chardonnay Estate Grown Monterey, California … 9.99

Aromas of dusty apples, cinnamon roll and hits of peach pit. (I found this nose to be quite interesting) Notes of apple skins, peach and lemon come through on a bright mouth-feel that remains throughout. Almost a steely element to this chard that leads to a clean fresh finish. Nicely balanced, this is another one you could match with shellfish. 90 points

2009 JM Cellars Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington … 33.99

Interesting bouquet of butterscotch and pears. Creamy on the front and mid-palate with notes of apple and pear with hits of yeast on the mid-palate. Oak comes through on the finish and is a little over-bearing making the finish a little disjointed. 88 points

2008 Hess Selection Su’Skol Chardonnay Napa Valley, California … 19.99

This chard had an interesting nose of burnt match with a large dose of tropical fruit. Creamy on the palate with notes of grilled pineapple and apple skins backed by balanced acidity. There is an interesting rubber boot component underlying the fruit which is something I like in a chard or riesling. Good finish with a steely edge to it and a touch of toast. This reminds me a bit of a white Burgundy with a huge new world kiss. Well made. 92 points

2009 J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay Arroyo Seco California … 11.99

The bouquet on this one was just a little challenged with hits of apple, sulfur and petrol. Creamy tropical fruit notes on the palate with underlying oak. I found the mid-palate to be just a little awkward with the acidity jumping around the oak a bit. The finish wrapped up nicely with toasty notes of pineapple and butterscotch. This bad boy really does better drank with a meal such as roasted chicken, crab or lobster.
89 points

2008 O Wines Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington … 13.99

A bouquet of pineapple, apple and hits of oak. Bright on the front of the palate with notes of Red Delicious apple. The mid-palate shows notes of apple and pineapple backed by an interesting minerality that flows into a crisp, fresh finish where the pineapple notes dominate on a nice long finish. Wouldn’t you figure that this Washington State chardonnay would be an excellent compliment with oysters, clams or mussels.
89+ points

2008 Domaine Matrot Borgogne Chardonnay Cote-d’Or, France (Burgundy) … 17.99

Going now to France where some of the most expensive chardonnay in the world come from I tasted one of my personal favorites in the affordable wines category. Showing it’s “Old World” personality this chard had elements of burnt match and apple on the nose. Loads of minerals on the palate backed by notes of green apple and peach pit that linger for some time on the palate. This is a great chardonnay to educate your palate on what the old world is all about. 89+ points

2008 Gordon Brothers Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington … 9.99

A little burnt buttered popcorn action on the nose with hits of butterscotch. On the palate the butterscotch comes through all day backed by some nice mineral and apple notes. Citrus on the finish with is nice and clean. Yet another Washington chardonnay that would match up nicely with shellfish. Go figure! 89 points

2009 Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay … 7.49

Aromas of sweet apples,pears and a hint of lemon. Creamy notes of apples and peach on the front side which carry into the mid-palate. The wine gets a little funky on the finish with and unpleasant burnt applesauce element and something that reminded me of barbecued peaches. 82 points

2010 Blacksmith Chardonnay Colombia Valley, Washington … 14.99

Aromas of pear, apple and a hint of warm spice. Loads of pear on the palate with hits of apple skin. Creamy on the mid-palate with hits of citrus and pear that flow into a medium length finish. Good balance of acidity and fruit on this lighter style chardonnay. 88+ points

2008 Ryan Patrick Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington … 11.99

Nice nose of fig and dusty apples. Creamy notes of pineapple and green apple skins on the front of the palate. The mid-palate shows a little papaya that leads into fig and toast. Good length on the finish. Nice balance of fruit and oak on this wine. This price is the lowest I have ever seen for this well made chardonnay and it will probably go back to the fifteen dollar mark this fall. Take advantage! 88+ points

2008 Liberty School Chardonnay Central Coast, California … 11.99

Nice bouquet of apple, caramel and butter. Creamy on front of palate with notes of butterscotch and pear. Mid-palate shows fig and butter leading into green pear and butter notes on a clean medium to long finish. Oak is not overdone on this chard and it shows nice balance. 90 points (Right now this chardonnay is priced at 9.99 in some stores in Washington State. That is a killer deal!)

2009 St. Francis Winery Chardonnay Sonoma County, California … 14.99

Very light in color, pale straw. Subdued notes of mango, pear and hits of butter on the nose. This chardonnay was a little disjointed on the palate. The oak seemed to jump in and out on creamy notes of pear and fig. A little citrus hit on the back end but the oak dominates on the finish. If you are a big fan of oak, you might like this although it does not have a nice flow across the palate. 85 points

2009 Cos Du Bois Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay Russian River Valley, California … 14.99

This is the kind of nose that I personally like in a chardonnay. Notes of lemon, pear and butter with hits of ginger. On the palate this chardonnay shows the California sunshine. Fat notes of pear and mango that flow nicely over the palate with hits of pineapple on the backside. Good balance of acid and fruit with a finish that is fresher then I expected. Well done. 91 points

2007 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Robert Young Vineyard Alexander Valley, California … 25.99

Darker gold in color showing it’s age. A bouquet of toasty butter and pears. I was surprised to find this chardonnay a little closed on the front side with notes of butterscotch and pear. It opened on the creamy mid-palate intensifying on a finish of pineapple, butterscotch and hits of pear and toast. Just a touch of heat on the long finish. 89 points

2008 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay Arroyo Seco, California … 19.99

This is the big brother to the Riverstone Chardonnay and it shows. Aromas of grilled pineapple, apples and butterscotch. Sweet butterscotch notes on the front of the palate with a large dose of oak. This chardonnay has some weight to it on the mid-palate but flows into a cleaner finish of pear, butterscotch and hits of pineapple. Good balance and a long finish. If you like oak on your chard this one should fit the bill with enough fruit and acidity to keep it from being an oak monster. 91 points

Twenty-nine down, thirty-two to go. Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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  2. Mahala says:

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  3. benavides says:

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