Chardonnay

Review: 2012 Gainey Vineyards Limited Selection Chardonnay

I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan. Something about the artificial butter taste turns me off. But we picked up the 2012 Gainey Vineyards Chardonnay at a friend’s party and I’ve had it sitting in my fridge for month. Then came a hot day and I was tired of beer, so I popped open this baby.

“Mmm, that’s pretty good,” were the first words that came out of my mouth. The super yellow–almost pee-colored yellow (sorry, but it’s true)–wine isn’t too buttery…just the right amount of smooth with a hint of vanilla. The wine has a full-mouth feel with longlasting flavor–think apples and melons– that kind of takes over and relaxes your tongue, almost like an anesthetic.

IMG_20150902_224611

It smells like lemon bars and has a slatey/flinty bite at the end, which gets more pronounced as it warms up.

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Gainey Winery
Type: Chardonnay
Origin: Santa Rita Hills, California
Vintage: 2013
Price: $38 (Straight from the vineyard, but we picked ours up as a leftover from a party. Score!)
Alcohol content: 14.1%
When to drink: This wine is perfect for picnics in the grass.

You get free wine on Virgin flights to Vegas

I went to Vegas with some friends for my bachelorette party and rather than drive, we flew, yay! And rather than have to pay for wine, our virgin flight gave us a free drink. Too bad they didn’t have champagne. We opted for the only white option, a chardonnay, because it was 10 a.m. and I felt white was probably more socially-acceptable. If we were camping, I would have been OK with beer for breakfast, but this was my bachelorette celebration!

Now, I’m not usually a fan of Chardonnay, but when in Rome… This wine had a Food Network label on it, so it had to be some sort of partnership. It was meh. Tasted of apples and it was easy-drinking. Wasn’t expecting much—I mean, it didn’t have a vintage on the label— so it was fine for what it was. But since I didn’t have to pay for it, why not?

entwine

While in Vegas, I got to see the Beatles show, which was amazing, and even got a delicious Kahlua/ coffee milkshake from BLT. The perfect end to a fun weekend.

kahlua

Nuts and Bolts

Winery: Entwine
Type: Chardonnay
Origin: Dubiously just says California on the bottle, but it’s made by Wente Vineyards, which is in Livermore.
Price: Free.99
Alcohol content:13%
When to drink: I probably wouldn’t pick up a bottle of this, but would drink again on a flight to Vegas.

Review: 2011 Dillon Vineyards Chardonnay

I tasted the 2011 Dillon Vineyards Chardonnay at Silver Lake Wines weekly Blue Mondays (a great deal!) and it made me melt.

The creamy Chardonnay swims down your tongue like it’s a slip-and-slide of butter. It’s aged in French Oak, and there’s a hint of that in there, too, but the second malolactic fermentation is really the star here and va-va-voomed this yellow beauty.

IMG_20141217_220631

This peachy wine has a bit of a sour bite, but I thought this tart apple flavor counteracted the butteriness in a good way.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Dillon Vineyards
  • Type: Chardonnay
  • Origin: Yountville Appellation, Napa Valley
  • Price: $21
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • When to drink: Go crazy with the creaminess and pair this golden Chardonnay with some brie.

Review: 2013 Terrenal Chardonnay

My dad loves when he finds kosher wines, even though he doesn’t keep kosher. He brought this kosher Chardonnay to meet my other half’s parents for a brunch we hosted at our apartment–like three years after we’ve been dating. I know, I know, weprocrastinated. We ended up sticking to mimosas, so this bottle was left over.

We cracked it open this week when we finished another bottle of white, but wanted one more glass. We needed a bottle we could sacrifice, one that it would be OK if we didn’t finish and we could toss later.

I pulled the 2013 Terrenal Chardonnay out of the fridge. Now, don’t call me mean. 1) I don’t like chardonnays much. It has to be a special chardonnay for me to enjoy it (And I actually do have a good one chilling right now) and 2) I’ve had meh luck with Terrenals in the past. Although the 2010 Terrenal Cabernet Sauvignon was good enough to bring to a Passover Seder.

IMG_20141106_224852

All I can really say is that the wine tasted watery. It’s made from grapes harvested at the foothills of the Andes mountains, according to the bottle. I already had low expectations, but I thought there would be some traditional tenets of chardonnays. But where was my malolactic buttery taste? Where was my full body? Where was the apple flavor?

So what zinger did my other half give when I asked if he liked it after I turned up my nose? “It reminds me of sticking my tongue on a Duracell battery. The aftertaste is just not good.”

He was referring to the wine’s acidity.

So thanks for the sacrifice, but we’re saying sayonara to the 2013 Terrenal Chardonnay.

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Terrenal
Type: Chardonnay
Origin: Chile
Vintage: 2013
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s
Alcohol content: 12.5%
When to drink: I’d highly recommend you don’t drink this wine, even if it is kosher and that’s an important factor.

 

Review: 2012 Paperboy Chardonnay

Remember when I told you about wine made in a paper bottles? Well, I drank it for the first time this weekend.

Verdict: meh on the wine, cool on the packaging.

IMG_20140629_182641

I had the 2012 Paperboy Chardonnay at a picnic on Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl, one of my fave LA summer activities. A friend who is a big fan of Chardonnay brought it along.

The wine doesn’t have much going on. It smells like grape juice and it tastes like alcoholic grape juice. It’s a tart chardonnay and absent, in my mind, was the iconic butteryness in most Chards. It reminded me of Franzia.

Now about the actual good stuff: the packaging. It’s made by a U.K company called GreenBottle and the eco-friendly company’s first U.S. partner is California-based Truett-Hurst. Much like boxed wines, paper bottles are lined with a plastic bladder to hold the liquid.

Paperboy is sold at Safeway stores.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: Paperboy
  • Type: Chardonnay
  • Origin: Hopland, Calif.
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: Potluck addition
  • Alcohol content: 14.5%
  • When to drink: When you’re looking to bring a novelty along to a party. Not recommended to drink over a nice dinner at home.

Review: 2010 Hobson Estate Chardonnay

Off to Temecula I went this past Saturday to visit my other half’s childhood home–I’m sure you’ve seen my previous descriptions of this quaint property filled with all kinds of animals. Including this durpy Great Dane.

IMG_20140201_155717

We hung out in the aviaries with the cockatiels–who are also my bird’s parents–and caught a glimpse of three Cockatiel eggs in a nest. We also ducked into a small pen to hang out with quails, which are quite fast and hard to catch. They had eggs, too, so it seems like breeding is in the air!

IMG_20140201_165434

We sat down to a meal of fresh, hand-made pasta, which was really good (thanks Mario Batali), and glasses of 2010 Hobson Estate Chardonnay.

IMG_20140204_212737

The first thing my boyfriend’s father said when he tasted the wine was ouch. The acidity in the wine made it kind of tingly on the tongue, which is not so fun when you have chapped lips.

I was surprised how spritzy this Chardonnay tasted. It had a light wheat color, which from the bottle exemplifies the cool temperatures in which the grapes were grown along the coast. The Chardonnay had a lemony, limy taste, but those citrus flavors transformed into a sour taste after the wine had warmed up a bit on the table.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Hobson Estate
  • Type: Chardonnay
  • Origin: Monterey area
  • Vintage: 2010
  • Price: $14
  • Alcohol content: 14.1%
  • When to drink: Hobson Estate isn’t my favorite Chardonnay, but it would be great for a summer picnic at Echo Park Lake. I can see it now: a little pedal boating, a little sun and a little lemon-lime zest to wash it all down.

Review: True Myth Chardonnay

Getting kicked out of your apartment for three days because you’re complex is being bombed for termites is no fun. But getting to have a sleepover with friends who have bottles and bottles of True Myth Chardonnay makes up for it, at least a little bit.

This week we had to pack up all of our edibles and tote Pepita the bird to temporary shelter. On the first night, we toasted with True Myth Chardonnay, which my friend has in abundance after taking home leftover bottles from a work event.

IMG_20131031_214708

A golden yellow, this Chardonnay tastes buttery and a hint of vanilla holds hands with citrus fruit flavors as the wine slides merrily down your tongue. Although it’s creamy, it still has a crisp brightness. If this wine had a personality, I’d say it was charming and pleasant.

A perfect pair for those cute cat coasters.

Here’s a bottle solo shot:

IMG_20131031_214735

 

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: True Myth
  • Type: Chardonnay
  • Origin: Edna Valley
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Price: $18 (as advertised on the wine’s official website, but I found some stores selling it for $15.99.)
  • Alcohol content: 13.5%
  • When to drink: At a small dinner party with friends. Or you can copy us and toast with it before watching Jeopardy, America’s favorite quiz show.