Some wines are refined and well-behaved. Others are a bold mouthful of flavors sometimes striking out in unexpected directions. Still others are one-dimensional and boring. Then you have what I’ll call the pinballers that bounce around on your taste buds like a rabbit with it’s tail on fire. The last was my experience with this white from down under.
Winemaker: Yellow Tail
Appellation: South Eastern Australia
Notes: In the glass this Aussie Chardonnay was a pretty light shade of gold. Scents that rose from the glass were pineapple, oak and pepper. Alcohol was at 13% in this medium-bodied wine. Acidity was moving toward high, and there was a definite sense of viscosity on the tongue. I thought it was an unsophisticated white with flavors of sweet pineapple, grass, oak, and a note of hot peppers. It is, of course, a very inexpensive bottle of wine. Maybe I shouldn’t be so critical.
For my return to the trenches, I decided to start with a celebratory Chardonnay. Honestly, any glass of wine would have been a joyous experience. Of course, after over half a year as a teetotaler, I knew I wasn’t ready for a big chewy red.
Winemaker: Nine Points
Appellation: Napa Valley
Notes: This Napa Chardonnay was a pretty light yellow in the glass with scents of citrus, grass and warm spices. It was medium bodied with a decent amount of viscosity to it. Acidity was quite high and alcohol was at 14.2%. As for flavors, I found apple, citrus, grass, hot pepper, hints of warm spices and lanolin. Not a bad pick at all for my first glass back.
Some wines I remember for their impact on my senses – their bouquet, their flavors. Others I remember as part of what I was doing when I drank them – at a birthday party, concert, special restaurant, etc. When I popped the cork on this bottle, my sweetie and I had decided to catch up on our pop culture and begin watching Season 1 of the show True Detective via HBO Now. I truly didn’t realize how dark the story line would be, or I might have opted for something else. The juxtaposition of a light white wine and the grim crimes being investigated on the screen, however, may have made both more memorable.
Winemaker: Viña Maipo
Wine: Mi Pueblo
Appellation: Central Valley, Chile
Notes: This light-bodied, light-hued Chardonnay had bright acidity and a bouquet consisting of lemon, pineapple and spice. Alcohol was at 13%. On the palate I tasted lemon, pineapple, grass and a very forward kerosene note. I’d suggest pairing this with food as (for me) the kerosene note was a bit off-putting. Maybe that’s why it was marked down from $12 to $5.