Region: Russian River Valley (Sonoma), California
It is no easy task finding good California chardonnay at this price point. And as I am willing to try just about anything, I often find myself looking, forlorn, into a glass of too flabby, too fruity, too fake-oaky swill. And consequently, you won't find too many chardonnay - particularly California chardonnay - reviews here. What keeps me going, what compels me to keep on looking, is that every now end then, I am ever-so-pleasantly surprised. Every now and then, I find one that I like AND that I can afford.
The Buehler Russian River chardonnay delivers on all counts. It is a lovely, golden, medium bodied beauty with up-front peach and orange blossom fruit. The fruit mellows into warm toastiness, which rolls into dreamy-creamy, and somewhere in there I get a little twist of lime peel. Full malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging provide the creamy richness. But thankfully there is enough acidity and a clean minerality that help provide balance and make the Buehler somewhat Burgundian.
An all around winner and certainly an elegant choice for the money... You can find it online here or at Buehler Vineyards.
Noël Wallace Permalink
VARIETAL: Sauvignon Blanc
REGION: Mendoza, Argentina
I recently hosted a tasting and featured this lovely Argentine SB for purely personal reasons. I love it... and I'll find any excuse to share the love. I think it might even convert some white haters. If you're not a fan of sauvignon blancs in particular, I'm going to surmise that you might be a little off-put by the grassy, sometimes bitter bite that is common among so many good SBs. I can assure you that this one is quite different.
Though, true to form, it is is crisp with a fine acidic finish, the lead-in is all finely woven, ripe summer fruit. Melon and stone fruit add wonderful richness and aromatics, while a hint of golden apple and lime peel contribute a soft freshness that is clean, but not at all bitter.
This should be your go-to white this summer... great on its own, but fantastic as an aperitif... or fine with fish... super with salads... you get the picture.
Find it at your local Cost Plus Word Market or online from a number of retailers, but plan to add another few $$.
Noël Wallace Permalink