Thursday, August 25, 2011

Affordable Chardonnay Worth Drinking

As most wine drinkers know, there's way too much inspipid, overpriced and/or just plain bad chardonnay out there. But luckily, Ray Isle (of Food & Wine) has done the hard work for the rest of us of trying a veritable ocean of value chardonnays to come up with this list of good ones in an affordable price range.
If you're a chardonnay fan, check these out!

Chardonnay Wine: 10 Winning Whites

2009 Bogle ($9) Bogle's juicy, easy-drinking '09 vintage gets its pineapple and mango accents from the warm weather in Clarksburg, California, where the winery's vineyards are located. (Note: this is my brother's go-to everyday chardonnay, although he says the 2008 was a lot better.)

2009 Sebastiani Sonoma County ($10) Roughly half of this wine is fermented in oak barrels, which helps account for its caramel-scented aroma and rich texture. A touch of Roussanne adds a spicy note. (adding a little Roussanne is a great idea!)

2008 Louis Latour Ardèche Chardonnay ($11) This lime-accented, lively Chardonnay comes from the Ardèche region, in southeastern France.
2010 Bodini ($13) A portion of the sales of this clean, citrusy Argentine Chardonnay goes to a scholarship foundation for winery workers' families.

2009 Boomtown ($13) Boomtown, a less-pricey label of Walla Walla's Dusted Valley vintners, makes impressive Washington state wines. This pear-scented white is among its best bottlings.

2009 Four Vines Naked ($13) No oak (hence, "naked") gets in the way of this wine's bright, pineappley flavors.
2009 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva ($14) Cool breezes off the Pacific Ocean in Chile's Casablanca Valley help give this appley white its refreshingly brisk character. (Great values abound in Chilean wine, and this chardonnay is worth seeking out.)

2010 De Morgenzon DMZ Chardonnay ($15) De Morgenzon makes one of South Africa's greatest Chenin Blancs, and some stellar bargains under its DMZ label. This oaky, lively Chardonnay is a top pick.

2009 Foxglove ($12) The '07 vintage of this apricot-inflected, graceful white from California's Central Coast won the 2009 F&W American Wine Award for Best Chardonnay Under $20. The delicious '09 is a worthy follow-up.

2009 Patianna ($17) This peach-inflected Chardonnay from California's Anderson Valley was above my $15 cutoff, but too good to exclude. Plus, the winery farms all of its vineyards organically, with resident chickens taking care of any pests among the vine rows.

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