Celebrating the 3rd Annual Chardonnay Day

So you think you don’t like Chardonnay?

Whenever someone says they don’t like Chardonnay, I chuckle to myself. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past few years of tasting, it’s that no two Chardonnays are ever the same.

Last week I had the opportunity to taste three Chardonnays as part of two online celebrations: Jordan Winery’s 40th Anniversary and the 3rd Annual Chardonnay Day.

2009 Jordan Winery Chardonnay

2009 Jordan Winery Chardonnay

I can describe this one in one word: APPLES. It’s like apple pie for grown-ups, with a nice balance of acidity, minerality, and oak.

SRP: $32.00 (jordanwinery.com, sample purchased for $27.99 at Stew Leonard’s Wines, Yonkers, NY)
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.5%
Aged in 100% French oak (56% new) for 5.5 months, 36% malolactic fermentation

2010 Hahn Family Wines Chardonnay

2010 Hahn Winery Chardonnay and Bojangles

On my way home from running errands on Chardonnay Day, I had a sudden, once-per-decade craving for Bojangles. I pulled over and picked up a two-piece, white meat dinner (wing and breast), with green beans, Cajun dirty rice, and a biscuit. I don’t know what came over me. However, I paired this unconventional dinner with the 2010 Hahn Chardonnay and it was amazing. The chicken fat and salt brought out the tropical fruit (mango, passionfruit, pineapple) and coconut flavors of the wine. What a fusion: Southern Cajun meets the Caribbean.

SRP: $14.00 (hahnfamilywines.com, media sample provided by Hahn)
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14.0%
82% neutral oak, 18% new French oak

2008-2010 Anderson’s Conn Valley Chardonnay

2008-2010 Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards Chardonnay

One of the highlights of Chardonnay Day was tasting three vintages of Anderson’s Conn Valley Chardonnay. All three vintages are stellar examples of what makes this Chardonnay so special: a balanced and complex Chardonnay that is capable of aging very well. It is a near-perfect balance of acidity, fruit (mango, melon, peach, pear, pineapple), minerality, and oak, but with no malolactic fermentation. As Todd Anderson himself would do, I paired these wines with a basic steak. Yes, I said steak. Try it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

SRP: $50.00 (connvalleyvineyards.com, 2009-2010 media samples provided by Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, 2008 purchased from connvalleyvineyards.com)
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 15.8% (2008), 15.4% (2009), 14.0% (2010)
Aged in French oak 11 months (2009), 10 months (2010) sur lees, stirred every week for a year

7 thoughts on “So you think you don’t like Chardonnay

  1. Thanks, Cindy! All I needed was an unoaked Chardonnay to taste as well, except that I’m only one person! That was a lot of Chardonnay! 🙂

    1. I always thought Chardonnay was supposed to be oaky and buttery. Now I know there’s unoaked Chard, neutral oak Chard, oak + malolactic fermentation, etc., and the source of the grapes also figure into the equation. There’s a Chardonnay for everyone.

  2. Great post! Whenever someone tells me that they don’t like chardonnay, I ask if I can attempt to change his/her mind. I’ve had a couple of takers… And thanks for some new suggestions! 🙂

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