Anything but chard?
I'm looking to expand my horizons. Can anyone recommend a good Chardonay for someone who has sworn off the stuff in the past few years? (Sadly, because it has been a few years, I also can't really articulate what it was that turned me off chard in the first place; I do remember that I really just didn't like the overly oaky flavour that masked all that nice white delicacy.)
Unfortunately, I would also need it to be relatively easy to find since I'm based in PA and can rarely make it to NJ/NY for the sole purpose of buying wine.
Good idea suggesting chablis. Perfect for people who balk at that big oak flavor.
As far as chard goes:
Since I am up here in the beautiful PNW I would like to suggest you try a few bottles from my area. I would think grapes from BC and Idaho would be best since they are more fruity with less acid and they tend to be less oaky.
Some I have tried and liked are from PNW:
Domaine Combret Estate (BC)
Andrew Will 2005 Cuvée Lucia Chardonnay "Celilo Vineyard" - I think they get their grapes from around the PNW, but the winery is in WA - under 20 bucks
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2002 Conner-Lee Vineyard Chardonnay. I think this is under 20 bucks.
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2004 Canoe Ridge
Unaoked wine I have tried and liked:
Forgeron Chardonnay - from the Colombia Valley
Pellegrini - I think it was a 2005
Also, I think you might find a lot of Australian unoaked wines if you try a few and want to pursue that. I am not really familiar with them, but I remember reading about it. Oh... and I see the guy above me mentions it. LOL
I have been enjoying the Bianchi Famiglia Chardonnay 04. from Argentina. A nice balance of acid and fruit. Typical chardonnay nose. Some oak but not overly so. A long, pleasant finish. Around $10.
Peconic Bay Steel Fermented Chardonnay from Long Island- beautiful fruit and acidity - no oak - not likely commercially avaible near you, but sold by winery on their website.
outside of chablis, which i think is the truest expression of the chard grape, there are a good number of high quality unoaked chards out there from the new world. a couple of good ones: four vines 'naked' chardonnay from northern santa barbara, kim crawford's unoaked from new zealand, and longview's 'blue cow' chard from australia. enjoy!
Another vote for Chablis, followed by (for affordability) wines from the Maconnais.
If you look to Oz, I agree you should seek out the unoaked versions.