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Bill Spohn

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WTN:2009 St Jean Chard 1997 Badia Riserva Chianti

by Bill Spohn » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:32 pm

DeletedHad a couple of wines out at an excellent local fish restaurant last evening.

2009 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Reserve – quite nice lemony vanilla nose tells you this is no stranger to oak, but that it hadn’t been over done either. Big and round in the mouth, but also overly soft and lacking the acidity to define the structure of the wine. I always think of a well made white Burgundy as being akin to a cello composition played by a gifted player, with body in the lower ranges and definition and interest in the treble range. This chard, and many other Californian chards (though definitely not all) are like listening to the Boccherini Cello Concerto in B flat major played by Yo-Yo Ma (just a personal favourite, any other piece would do for an example) on good stereo gear, but with the treble turned off. No grace notes, and not as interesting or engaging as a Burgundy can be. Of course many (but not all) Australian chards that we see here are more akin to listening to that piece of music on a boombox with added subwoofer, but that’s another review for another time.

We had Shigoku oysters with this – plump, salty nuggets of delight. If you are a fan and haven’t tried them (they are a Pacific Northwest thing) seek them out!

1997 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva – good colour with lightening edges, classic nose of dark cherry and spice, still carrying significant soft tannins and a slight pleasant astringency midpalate, followed by a good medium long finish. Perfect now – time I got into my stash (this was the first bottle I’d opened). I’ve seen some notes saying it’s faded, but this lasted in the glass with no change for the worse. Cool cellar I guess.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN:2009 St Jean Chard 1997 Badia Riserva Chianti

by Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:45 pm

Among California chardonnay producers, Chateau St. Jean tends to lean toward the big toasty oak end of things in a way that usually reminds you, if you'd forgotten, that there's more than one way to complain about oak, and there's usually a bit of residual sugar to go with it. I'm surprised, therefore, that you're not being harsher in your judgement--was the wine really that good, or did the company make you kinder? :)
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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Bill Spohn

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Re: WTN:2009 St Jean Chard 1997 Badia Riserva Chianti

by Bill Spohn » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:50 pm

The wine wasn't bad, if a tad soft, it just reionforced my opinion that I don't enjoy that sort of Chard any more - there is too much missing. Guess I miss the vibrancy of a well put together Chard and no amount ot buttery oak is going to make that up to me!
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Jenise

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Re: WTN:2009 St Jean Chard 1997 Badia Riserva Chianti

by Jenise » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:03 pm

There ARE a lot of good chardonnays being made in California these days--many you'd enjoy. But CSJ would be one of the last I'd recommend to you because all the CSJ's I've had (and I seem to taste them in almost every vintage), would never have allowed you to say it wasn't over done--not for someone who judges chardonnay by white burgundy.
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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