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David M. Bueker

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Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:08 pm

Chardonnay will be our Wine Focus theme for the month of May. Is any grape simultaneously more loved and hated? Lauded as the grape of White Burgundy, and Champagne, and a punchline for jokes about book clubs, Chardonnay spans an incredible range of styles and prices. It’s made essentially everywhere wine is made, with grape trucked in from far away if necessary. It’s survived the buttery madness of 1990s California, the premature oxidation of Burgundy in the 2000s and still maintains its place as the top white wine grape.

Join the conversation in Chardonnay month!
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun May 01, 2022 11:40 am

2019 St. Francis Chardonnay, Sonoma Co.

I have always been a big St. Francis fan, the wine budget does not get clobbered when buying their entry wines.
Downtown yesterday and popped into local wine bar where St. F featured. Citrus, apple nose, quite crisp, uncomplicated aromatics. Initial entry thought was green apple, lemony finish, crisp acidity, balanced acidity and pleasing finish. Think around $25 Cda a bottle, look forward to some gem postings this month. Should try and find their Martinelli Vineyard?
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun May 01, 2022 12:58 pm

2018 Mission Hill Estate Series Chardonnay, BC - Okanagan.

Lighter straw color. The aromatics begin with yellow peach, lemon and jasmine. The initial mouthfeel exudes nice flavors of green apple, fresh pineapple, lime and a pleasant creaminess from oak aging. This wine is example of what can in produced in Bc... In a word, delicious. Have to wonder how the Niagara version compares to this wine?
Should try and find my Clos du Soleil notes from last Julys visit.

***On reflection, I might pass on Clos de Soleil in July and visit Courcelettes nearby. Recent winery with a great wine portfolio,
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Sun May 01, 2022 7:25 pm

  • 2015 Evesham Wood Chardonnay Mahonia Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (5/1/2022)
    I like this wine very much, though I am not quite so over the moon about it as most CellarTracker users. I think the aromatics are very pretty, with crunchy tree fruit and a salt water beach accent. Little to no wood evident on the nose. The flavors pick up a touch of spice along with green apple and underripe peach, and there’s a strong minerality to the finish. I do think it’s a little weak in the mid-palate, but overall it is quite enjoyable, just not enthralling.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Wed May 04, 2022 1:38 pm

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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Sun May 08, 2022 12:31 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:2018 Mission Hill Estate Series Chardonnay, BC - Okanagan.

Lighter straw color. The aromatics begin with yellow peach, lemon and jasmine. The initial mouthfeel exudes nice flavors of green apple, fresh pineapple, lime and a pleasant creaminess from oak aging. This wine is example of what can in produced in Bc...


On our last camping trip in B.C. 3 years ago, an earlier vintage of this was the best available at one of the liquor boards crummier little stores in the boonies that generally only sell things at the level of, say, Yellow Tail. So expectations were fairly low. However, it performed well above the $16 we paid for it, and we liked it so much we picked up a few more to bring home.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Mon May 09, 2022 2:35 pm

Opened last night:

2019 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur Dundee Hills
Very pale. Apple, citrus and minerals; bright yet creamy, cashmere texture. Significant malo but very little oak.

Love this wine. I read some of the reviews on CT. One numbnuts derisively panned this saying Oregon's the new California. Well, after tasting many chardonnays in California over the past two weeks, I can attest: no it ain't. Only 13.9% alcohol, for one. No tropical notes, but flavors you'd find in French chardonnays for another. I don't have a sense of what 'typical' Oregon is these days, but just another California? Nope.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Paul Winalski » Tue May 10, 2022 1:18 pm

2016 Napa Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena

Very nice melon aromas well integrated with a kiss of oak. Mouth-filling, mature fruit flavors on the palate, complemented by oak (used properly as a spice rather than a sauce). Lively acidity to keep everything dancing. Long, delicious finish. Not at all your run-of-the-mill California butterball chardonnay. If only more of them were like this. No hurry to drink this up, but it's hard to keep one's hands off something this good. Alas, this was my last bottle. Curly double Larry.

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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Tue May 10, 2022 1:55 pm

FYI - the new episode of Bedrock Wine Conversations has David & Claire Ramey as the guests. Chris Cottrell does a really good job with the Bedrock podcasts. Really looking forward to listening to this one.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Tue May 10, 2022 3:01 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:2016 Napa Chardonnay, Chateau Montelena


I would definitely put Montelena Chardonnays in the Top Ten of California chardonnays--one of the few things in Napa Valley that hasn't changed.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Tue May 10, 2022 7:24 pm

2016 Peay Vineyards Chardonnay Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (5/10/2022)
Almost exactly two years since my last bottle, and time has been kind. Melon, pineapple and spice aromatics transition into an integrated palate that has both energy and grace. There’s a subtle creaminess on the finish that also contains some electric acidity. The contrasts are exciting, and keep me coming back for yet another sip. Compelling stuff.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Thu May 12, 2022 11:29 am

Opened last night to serve with first-of-the-season proscuitto-wrapped Alaskan halibut and lime-butter sauce:

2017 Ceritas Chardonnay Marena Sonoma Coast
Bright yellow-gold, extracted in looks and flavor. Slightly alcoholic finish. Very much a disappointment for anything from this highly acclaimed producer but it worked okay with the food due to the richness added by the proscuitto.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Paul Winalski » Thu May 12, 2022 11:57 am

I was fond of Matanzas Creek's chardonnay before the winery got sold off. The old owners kept two llamas on the property named Dalai and Como Se.

-Paul W.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Thu May 12, 2022 1:21 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:I was fond of Matanzas Creek's chardonnay before the winery got sold off. The old owners kept two llamas on the property named Dalai and Como Se.

-Paul W.


Didn't know about the llamas but also used to quite like Matanzas Creek, their SB as well. Wasn't it their merlot they were the most famous for, though?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Thu May 12, 2022 7:23 pm

Jenise wrote:Opened last night to serve with first-of-the-season proscuitto-wrapped Alaskan halibut and lime-butter sauce:

2017 Ceritas Chardonnay Marena Sonoma Coast
Bright yellow-gold, extracted in looks and flavor. Slightly alcoholic finish. Very much a disappointment for anything from this highly acclaimed producer but it worked okay with the food due to the richness added by the proscuitto.


Ceritas can be great, but in recent years they have had a fair number of misses. Reach exceeding their grasp perhaps?
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Sat May 14, 2022 5:34 pm

You gotta wonder.

Speaking of chardonnay, Costco got more of the Ramey Seaview/Fort Ross in, so I brought home half a case today.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Mon May 16, 2022 8:47 am

Can’t go wrong with that.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Tim York » Fri May 20, 2022 8:48 am

Burgundy is the home of Chardonnay and produces many different expressions of the grape from the north to the south of the ancient Duchy.

My favourites are the flinty and steely wines of great elegance from Chablis and these remain more or less affordable except for GCs from big names like Raveneau and Dauvissat.

At their best, well aged wines from the Côte d'Or can be grandiose but nowadays with the prevalence of premox ageing them is very risky. Often obtrusive oak élevage makes drinking them young unappealing for me and astronomic prices from the most famous estates are an additional deterrent. I think that the last bottle I've had which truly revealed their greatness potential was a Chevalier-Montrachet 1985 from Domaine Leflaive drunk around the turn of the century. Any tips on affordable (< €40) Côte d'Or appellations and estates with a light oak touch would be very welcome!

This is where the Chalonnais and the Mâconnais come in. From the former, there are very nice 1erC whites produced in Givry, Mercurey and Rully by estates like François Lumpp, Jacqueson and Dureuil-Janthial for c.€30. From the Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé produces some lovely wines in a quite generous vein but bottles from the top producers can top €40; Saint-Véran can be good too and in good hands more generic Mâconnais appellations can offer very nice wines, like this Viré- Clessé (c.€15), but recently I have had some bottles from lesser producers which are quite flabby and a warm climate in character.

2019 Verget Viré-Clessé - France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Viré-Clessé (19/05/2022)
This is just what I want from the Mâconnais. Nice peachy and citrus fruit, fine minerals, creamy underlying roundness, discreetly moreish acidity and decent backbone. It went beautifully with fresh barbue and quite well with goat cheeses (Loire Chenin and SB works better with these). Nice to see a French wine offered in France under screwcap! Good+.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Fri May 20, 2022 11:00 am

2014 Clos Pepe Estate Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills
Pale yellow, same color as the day it was released with subdued chardonnay flavors more typical of the Chablis spectrum. In fact, all around there is nothing about it, other than vintage, that's obviously aged until a little vegetation from fruit fade shows up toward the end of the second glass. Not many California chardonnays that can hold up like this. Wes Hagen, we miss you!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Robin Garr » Fri May 20, 2022 12:54 pm

Moillard 2018 "Le Duché" Bourgogne Chardonnay ($18.99)

Moillard "Le Duché" Bourgogne Chardonnay is a pretty, golden straw color in the glass, clear and bright. Delicious scents of ripe apples and pears center the aroma, with back notes of lemon peel and chalky minerality. Fresh, bright, and dry on the palate, its flavors follow the nose, with mouth-watering acidity, 13% alcohol, and a pleasant citric frame. Beautifully balanced and lasting, it's an appealing example of well-made white Bourgogne in the affordable range. U.S. importer: Advantage International Distributors Inc., Miami. (May 7, 2022)

FOOD MATCH: A good Bourgogne Chardonnay like this should be versatile with a range of foods: Roast chicken or fish, rich seafood dishes, or entrees with cream or cheese sauces. It went very well for us with a Thai-style red curry with tofu and vegetables.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's probably most prudent to drink Bourgogne Chardonnay within three or four years while it remains fresh.

VALUE:
Wine-Searcher.com lists an average U.S. retail from around $20 to $22., consistent with my $19 local price. It's a fine bargain at this price.

WEB LINK:
Read more about Moillard and its portfolio at this importer's link, where you can click for more information about its Bourgone Chardonnay and other Moillard wines.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Moillard "Le Duché" Bourgogne Chardonnay on Wine-Searcher.com.

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to read more about Bourgogne Chardonnay and find listings for dozens of other wines from the region.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Sat May 21, 2022 1:02 pm

Yesterday someone brought a 2019 Domaine Drouhin 'Arthur' to a blind lunch. I pegged it immediately based on the bottle I posted about here just a few weeks ago. Such good stuff, and interesting to taste it blind/again without my own bias getting in the way. It was certainly as good as I believed if not even better. The malo I mentioned previously didn't really show. Burgundy flavor profile, but turned up in volume. Brilliant chardonnay.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by David M. Bueker » Sun May 22, 2022 7:40 pm

  • 2017 Kutch Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard - USA, California, Santa Cruz Mountains (5/22/2022)
    Pop and pour, and it’s all lemon drop goodness. Bright acidity, vibrant minerality, the lemon pours through the palate. It’s actually not all that complex, but it’s really delicious on a hot, humid evening that needs a bit of electricity.
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Jenise » Mon May 23, 2022 11:43 am

2017 Cote Bonneville Chardonnay

Took to the Dorks tasting on Saturday night. Hazy unfiltered dark straw color with some unusual layers, like cinnamon. Someone asked me what I think are the typical flavors of Washington chardonnay and I had to honestly answer that I have no idea. California and Oregon--yes, there are types. But Washington's all over the map and we don't have a David Ramey here to set an example.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus May 2022 - ChardoMay!

by Paul Winalski » Mon May 23, 2022 12:31 pm

I've enjoyed Francois Lumpp's Cote Chalonnaise white Burgundies in the past, but alas, I've lost access to them.

-Paul W.
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