I’m not usually a Chardonnay drinker, which is precisely why I bought one. There’s quite a range of flavors you can get out of a Chardonnay; dry, buttery, oaky, sweet, tropical, and probably some others.
I’ll get to where this one stands below..
For now I’m gonna take a side quest to talk about serving temps (feel free to skip to the review if you don’t care about what is to follow..).
Red wines I’ll generally just serve at the temperature they’re stored at. Some would say that’s a smidge too warm but I’ve had good luck with it so far. Whites I’ll usually pull from the fridge and open up and go. I read something interesting the other day alluding to most people drinking white wines too cold so that got me thinking I’d try something different.
So for this guy I put it in the fridge for a bit, then opened it and gave it some time. I like it; works pretty good. Nothing too crazy or mind blowing here. Just leave the bottle out after you serve a white wine that was chilled until you’re ready to call it a night.. more or less.
Anyway, let’s talk about sex. Oh shit. Wine… That song just popped in my head randomly.
Mt Eden Vineyards – 2011 Edna Valley Chardonnay – 13.8% alc – Central Coast, California – about $20
This wine was aged in assorted barrels for 8 months. Assume all tasting notes are referring to both Day 1 and Day 2 unless otherwise noted.
Poured a pale straw yellow color. Reminded me of many Berlinerweisse beers or possibly an Ardbeg 10 year Scotch. Yup. So there’s that.
On the nose I got tropical fruit first, followed by a slight buttery note. The alcohol heat was extremely well hidden. Hints of vanilla, honey and a dash of ginger came a little later. Almost a floral perfume-y smell popped up every other whiff or so. Eventually candied dried pineapples and maybe apricots. Very nice complexity if you look for it.
The taste was initially sweet. Then the acidity hits you. Dry without FEELING dry. Pretty cool. I’d say this is definitely on the sweeter side of Chardonnays in my limited experience with them. The buttery note (and really it’s just a whisper on Day 1) wafts every so gently under the tropical fruits. The dried fruit flavors hit hardest after the initial tropical juicy pineapple blasts, and that spice sneaks in there a little as well.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium. Nice refreshing consistency. At first I thought it would be better suited to cooler nights such as these we’re enjoying now (well not so much enjoying as we are experiencing, really…), but then it occurred to me this would work really well on a cool summer evening with some friends on a back porch. Probably with chicken or even a bowl of homemade popcorn. At least, this kind of made me crave popcorn…
The finish is also of medium length and pretty warming (in a creep-up-the-back-of-your-throat-after-you-swallow kind of way). Biggest thing that lingers after you swallow is the candied fruit flavors and vanilla with that little hit of ginger spices. after 15 seconds or so there’s a lingering nutty/biscuity flavor as well. Day 2 brought buttered then eventually caramel covered popcorn to the finish line.
So. $20. Refreshing. Complex. Good overall. Buy it if you see it, especially if it’s on sale.