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Nov 9, 2006 03:39 AM

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.


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  1. I would suggest trying to find some Chablis from France, or some of the unoaked Chardonnays now coming out of New Zealand and Australia.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nja

      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

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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!

          1. I'm a big fan of Varner chardonnay. I took part in a tasting where several experienced tasters (I don't count myself as one of them) couldn't tell Varner from two white Burgundies.