Chardonnay, it’s one of the most widely planted grapes and surely one of the best known ones. Knowing Chardonnay is key to a solid foundation in wine and a great place to start. In this two part series, Jon and I examine 6 Chardonnays—three of which are classic examples of what a typical Chardonnay can taste like and three which take Chardonnay in different directions, giving this wine a nice spin.
To start us off, this week Jon and I reviewed 3 typical Chardonnays. We are calling these “typical” because they exhibit classic Chardonnay characteristics. They are fruity on the nose, usually carrying aromas of apples (in cooler regions) to tropical fruits, like pineapple (in warmer regions). Chardonnay is usually full-bodied and dry with a nice oaky finish that gives the wine structure and a bit of vanilla, wood, or minerality.
But this is where Jon and I differ. I’m a huge fan of oaky flavors—they remind me of my youth being an Eagle Scout and camping, with the woody aromas and flavors. Jon on the other hand, well, despises it, and rightfully so—oak isn’t for everyone. And with our biases out of the way, here are the reviews.
- Trader Joes 2006 Chardonnay – Well priced
- A $5 Chardonnay that tastes like a $10 bottle, this is a great example of a basic Chardonnay. Can’t go wrong with this one.
- This wine has great fruit and just the right amount of oak. We both agree it’s delicious and at $10 is a great find.
- Meridian 2006 Chardonnay – Disagree
- I think this wine has nice balance. Jon thinks it sucks. ‘Nuff said.