Today it’s Chardonnay

I know that last week I promised you three Chardonnays today, but I’m only hitting one. Hubby was skeptical that I’d find three under my $10 price range, but BevMo! came up trumps – they were having a good sale. I’m still only giving you one, though, lol!

Liberty School Chardonnay, 2008, Central Coast Regularly $12.99, on sale at BevMo! for $7.99

The Label: “Partially barrell fermented, this Chardonnay is rich in character and is a skilled example of what the Central Coast has to offer. While pleasing to the connoisseur, it’s fruit-driven style makes it purely unpretentious, gratifying and easy to enjoy with food or by itself.” Paso Robles, CA Hope Family Wines since 1978.

My take: If you’re looking for a big, oaky Chardonnay (I’ll get into THAT subject later), this isn’t it. It’s slightly fruity and not offensive on first taste. It had no real mid-taste, and it had a weak and inoffensive aftertaste. My hubby thought it went slightly sour at the end. What’s funny is their website says they age their Chardonnay in 50% French Oak and 50% American Oak. I didn’t get the slightest hint of oak in this wine.

We drank it with a dinner of chicken burgers (Costco – very yummy!) and citrus-roasted veggies. The wine went well with the meal, but it could have been so much better.

I rate this wine ~Drinkable~ . But find a nice Port or digestif to finish off your meal.

Regarding the trend away from big, oaky Chardonnays, I’ll stick my neck out and say, I don’t like it. I don’t like a limp Chardonnay that may as well be a Pinot Grigio. I don’t like thin Chardonnays, I never have. I adore the big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays that will go with any chicken or fish dish and do well with fruit and cheese after the meal, too. A Chardonnay like that will stand up to winter, as well as make you feel chill in the depths of summer.

The last couple of times we’ve been wine tasting in the Central Coast, we’ve been very disappointed in the thin “nakedness” of the Chardonnays. Aging them in steel isn’t doing the wine any favors, winemakers. If you must fool around with wine, fool with Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc or even, help me, a nice Chenin Blanc (very underrated and very hard to find).

If ANYONE still makes a nice, big, oaky buttery Chardonnay that doesn’t cost the earth, please let me know. I’ve been woefully disappointed in what I’m finding in the stores as well as at the wineries.

That’s all for now – more Chardonnay next week!

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13 Responses to Today it’s Chardonnay

  1. katjameson says:

    Maybe the American Oak and the French Oak cancelled each other out. I’ve always heard the French don’t care for us much. 😉 I am not a huge white fan but I can relate to what you are saying. Chardonnay did used to have a “stronger” feel to it. It will be interesting to see what you think of the Gainey. Cheers!

    • Christine says:

      I am TOTALLY looking forward to the Gainey, lol! Thank you so much! Must plan a good meal around it though – not something for chicken burgers I’m thinking!

  2. Sorry, but I disagree (that’s what makes the world go around, right?) I love the virgin/pure chardonnays – the big woody taste of most chardonnays comes off too heavy for me.

    But then, I’m not a red wine person so that probably explains it.

    What’s up next?

    • Christine says:

      I know, I’m totally in the minority when it comes to California chardonnays right now, but so it goes. I’ll just not buy any for awhile, lol! I’ve got more chards coming up, as well as zinfandels and pinot grigios – love them for summer.

  3. Thanks for the input on the wines, Christine. I’m not a big wine drinker, but I found the article very interesting. Now I might even try the Chardonnay you mentioned. 🙂

    • Christine says:

      It’s light, Angelique – not heavy in the alcohol department, either. Make sure you find it on sale!

  4. Pamela S. says:

    Hi, Christine,

    What a wonderful blog — so happy you put the link up on FB!

    “…big oaky, buttery Chardonnay…” I’m waiting for this, too, and will be checking in here with you on Fridays.

    • Christine says:

      Pamela, you’re my new best friend, lol! Glad you like the blog. Do let me know if you find that big Chardonnay!

  5. Maria says:

    Hmm, I wonder if the “lightness” of the current Chardonnays is why I tend toward the reds? You’ll have to give a shout out if you find a Chardonnay that you like and I am okay with the price being up to $25. I don’t drink often and when I do have a glass of wine, I want it to be worth it rather than make me want to pour it down the sink. Of course that’s just me… {wink}

    • Christine says:

      Maria, I totally understand what you mean about wanting that drink to count. I’m hoping someone will point me in the right direction for a big Chardonnay…in the meantime, you and I will sip those reds!

  6. Debora Dale says:

    My husband is the wine guy in the house. I will have to ask him what he knows about big, oaky, buttery Chardonnay. I’m also passing on all your info so he knows what to try and what he might like to pass on. As for me… I’m such a cheap date. Wild Vines Blackberry or Woodbridge White Zinfandel. lol

  7. Christine says:

    Deborah, here’s hoping your husband can come up with a good Chardonnay for me! Regarding the Wild Vines Blackberry or Woodbridge White Zin – as I keep saying, Your Tastebuds May Vary. I just can’t drink a really sugary, sweet wine; it reminds me too much of cough syrup from the 1960s. But I’ll do a post on sweet wines later, and maybe you’ll find something new that you’ll like. You never know!

    • Debora Dale says:

      Cough syrup from the 60’s! You’re right! Hey, maybe there’s something comforting about that for me. lol. I look forward to your sweet wines post. Such a fun blog.

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