Tag Archives: Chardonnay

Weekly Wine – Spinelli

21 Jun

Spinelli Quartana Chardonnay Terre di Chieti
12% ABV
$7.90 (LCBO)

I was expecting this wine to be a little sweet. A little fruity. A little lively.
I was also ready to be disappointed.

I did not get fruity, lively or sweet when I first sipped this.
I was met with a sharp acidic taste that was masking some sort of weak fruit flavour. The wine wasn’t bad. It is sharp and crisp. A little sour but not too bad – good for the hot weather in fact.
I have to admit that these first sips were when the wine was stone cold. Colder than it should ever be. It’s not like there were chunks of ice floating in the wine but it was quite cold. That is why I could not taste the pear or the peach.
As the wine gets to a more reasonable temperature it does become better. The fruits come out and the acidity is diminished. There is a balance here.
A nice wine actually.

Weekly Wine – Chilean Chardonnay

8 Feb

sc_charSanta Carolina Chardonnay
13% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)
This wine disturbed me a bit.
It is dry yet it does not seem so when taking the first sips.
It is quite light in colour but the body does match that visual stimuli.
There is acidity here that is not too pronounced but it is tempered with other flavours that I can’t quite make out.
It is a fair wine. It is a chardonnay, and it is a rather typical one at that. When drinking this wine there is no mistaking it for something that is low on the totem pole of price.
It is rather high on the totem pole of value.
If you like chardonnay and are on a budget – you won’t go wrong with this one.

Weekly Wine – Gray Fox

23 Nov

1123gfcharGray Fox Chardonnay
13% ABV
$8.55 (LCBO)

I look at this label with a bit of trepidation.
On the one hand foxes are good looking animals.
On the other they are known to be sly and mischievous.
The one on this bottle looks cute. It looks at me invitingly. Try me it beckons.
But what lies beneath those imploring eyes and the screw cap is a mystery. I must find out.
The first sip is Nasty. So is the second. It is sourish and a little sweet – that’s the chardonnay speaking. There are apples here and lemons I think. But it is sour… not the super unpleasant kind of sour, just the kind like the candy kids eat.
I don’t want that in a wine.

Weekly Wine – Doggy

7 Oct

SONY DSCChateau La Paws Chardonnay
Year: N/A
13% ABV
$9.80 (USA)
A wine that helps dogs in shelters – a win-win situation. This is a fairly typical chardonnay, a little sweetish with a nice body. It is rather smooth and does not have much tartness to it. It might have gone down better if I had tasted it out of a nice wine glass, or in fact out of any drinking vessel made out of glass. But this was purchased on a road trip in the USA and the only drinking device present were plastic cups. The wine is nice but unremarkable and lacks any kind of bold or unique characteristic. You can pick it up if you are concerned about sheltering dogs but there are much more interesting wines at this price. But still – it is not a bad wine.


Weekly Wine – Piat d’or

1 Apr

SONY DSCPiat D’or Chardonnay
13% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Here’s another classic that I have forgotten about. Piat d’or was the French wine we bought back when we knew nothing about wine except that – “All French Wine is Good.” We bought this wine to impress dates. How effective it was is a matter of debate.
Is all French wine good? Judging by this bottle – not really. This is a chardonnay so it is fruity and rather sweetish. It is listed as a dry wine but the chardonnay grapes have this sugary – fruity feel to them. Not one of my favourite grapes. The wine is not very refreshing and is a bit of a bother on the palate. It is not bud – I just don’t like it. I liked the Piat d’or Merlot that I reviewed back in May. It was unremarkable but passable. This wine is similar.
It is fine, I suppose, if you like chardonnay.

Weekly Wine – Manhattan Project

7 Jan

SONY DSCThe Manhattan Project Chardonnay
13.9% ABV
$9.99 (US$)

I find myself in downtown Atlanta looking for some wine. There’s the a Peach Mart right by my hotel and I find this wine there in the “Special” section.
It’s a wine called the Manhattan Project that is made in Walla Walla, Washington.
To underscore one point … The Manhattan Project was the nuclear weapon research and development program the United States ran during World War II. It’s primary location was in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. There was a nuclear reactor built in 1943 for the Manhattan Project, but that was in a neighbouring county. The link is tenuous – perhaps there is a good story but I was unable to find it.
The wine is a Chardonnay and is on the sweetish side – the sweetness is a result of the very fruity flavour – you get a good wallop of apricot and pears in the flavour. This is where the sweetness comes from, not the sugar content but the flavour.
There is a slight bitterness in this wine. It is not too distracting though. It might be the sulphites but I also suspect that this is bottle that has reached its best before date. This type of wine should be consumed a couple of years after being bottled. Five years is a bit of time. If it was improperly stored, in a warm environment and/or in the sunlight, this will certainly cause the wine to start to deteriorate. I suspect that this is what is starting to happen to this wine. If I, or anybody else, would have bought this in a year – it would have been quite skunky.
It was probably a very good wine in its prime. Too bad I missed it then.

Weekly Wine – Yvon Mau

1 Oct

SONY DSCYvon Mau Colombard Chardonnay
11.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

The wonders of doing this blog and tasting cheap wines is that once in a while you come across a real gem. It is easy to by a great wine at 30 plus dollars. But under 10…
Here is a real gem.
I know the Chardonnay grape but this is mixed with the Colombard grape. I’m not familiar with the latter. The mix is 25-75 (Chardonnay to Colombard) as the label states.
This is a very nice blend. It has the fruitiness of the Chardonnay grape without being too sweet.
The wine does not have any strange after tastes or bitterness. Even though it does contain sulphites, I did not feel or taste them as I sampled this white wine.
It is a very fine wine. Perhaps one of the best white wines that I have encountered in this wine tasting odyssey. I have honestly had white wines at three times the price that did not give me the pleasure of this sub-ten buck wine.

Weekly Wine – Spinelli

24 Sep

SONY DSCSpinelli Quartana Chardonnay Terre di Chieti


12% ABV
$7.50 (LCBO)

This wine is rough around the edges. I knew it would be.
The first clue was the brand. I had red wine from this brand and it was rough. Drinkable but rough.
The second clue was that it was very inexpensive. One of the most inexpensive wines at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
Another clue was that it said that it was “non oaked” Chardonnay. So it fermented and/or matured in a plastic pail. Just like you can do at home. Perhaps it was stainless steel. Probably not.
This is fast, cheap wine. There is no apologies here. It is honest and it is rough around the edges. It is drinkable when well chilled but the deteriorates as the temperature rises.
My initial thoughts on this wine are confirmed. I’m not too disappointed with the wine – I just probably won’t buy it very often.

Weekly Wine – Kressmann

17 Sep

SONY DSCKressmann Selection Chardonnay
12% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

I did not know that this wine existed anymore. I hadn’t seen if for years and years.
It was a staple of sorts. The bottle of wine on the table at banquets and weddings. People would look at it and say – “It’s French. It must be good.”
Well it is an inexpensive wine and it tastes like an inexpensive wine but it is not too bad.
It is OK.
It is drinkable.
It is a passable white wine that will not make your head hurt or your body recoil with horror.
It is rather unremarkable for a French wine if I have to be brutally honest.
But it brings back nostalgia for me. This was the standard of wine that I had as an impressionable under aged consumer. This was probably the first wine that I ever drank…in quantity.
Really, it’s not bad. Perfect for the center-piece of a banquet or a wedding in a church hall.

Weekly Wine – XOXO

27 Aug

SONY DSCXOXO Pinot Grigio Chardonnay
Year: N/A
12% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I’m approaching this wine with great trepidation. I had the XOXO Shiraz Cabernet and I hated it.
I disliked the whole concept of the wine. It was a blend of Canadian and International wines, It was cellared in one of three provinces of Canada (It could not tell me which one), the taste was nothing to brag about and there were much better wines for the price.
Well here we are again with the that red wines cousin. A Pinot Grigio Chardonnay.
And whereas the Shiraz Cabernet was dissapointing, this one is OK.
The Pinot Grigio grapes give some bite while the Chardonnay give some fruitiness. It is a fine summer wine. It leaves a bit of dryness in the mouth but that is OK.
I have had worse wines for more money than this one.
It does need to be consumed well chilled with a fairly warm ambient temperature to be enjoyed. A nice light summer evening breeze would also be called for.