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!