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Butter and oak in a Chard?

jimifer May 31, 2007 12:59 PM

Ok, first time posting a question! I am looking for a buttery, creamy, oaky, non-acidic Chardonnay, aren't I? Meaning, Is there such a thing? Or, does chardonnay not fall into that category? I am looking to spend around $10, and buy in bulk, any suggestions?

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  1. z
    zin1953 RE: jimifer May 31, 2007 01:50 PM

    Quite the contray, MANY Chardonnay fall into that category! Your difficulty will be the $10 price bracket, as most Chardonnays around that price level will not set the world on fire. So, as long as you're not expecting 100-point wines at that level, you'll be fine.

    Where do you live? (It will help me make recommendations.)

    Meanwhile, look for Chardonnays from Australia, such as Lindemans, or from Calfiornia, such as Kendall-Jackson. Both will be available EVERYwhere.

    1. t
      torta basilica RE: jimifer May 31, 2007 03:30 PM

      J Lohr - usually on sale for around $10 or less. That's the only Chard under $20 or so I can stand.

      2 Replies
      1. re: torta basilica
        Bill Hunt RE: torta basilica May 31, 2007 09:16 PM

        Good call. Their Riverstone Chard is pretty big, and not too expensive. Guess I do not spend enough time around "value" wines, except at events, and the offerings are pretty poor there.


        1. re: torta basilica
          zin1953 RE: torta basilica May 31, 2007 10:11 PM

          I agree with Bill -- good call!

        2. Bill Hunt RE: jimifer May 31, 2007 09:15 PM

          The "majority" of US Chards, and many from other "New World" areas DO fall into that category. My wife really loves the "big" ones.

          Unfortunately, I do not have any recs. in the stated price range, though I would venture that there are plenty.

          You will want one, that has undergone some, or total, malolactic fermentation (ML), and one aged for a good part of its life in oak - most likely FR oak.

          Actually finding domestic, or even most New World Chards, that do NOT exhibit these characteistics is the problem.

          One caveat: these bigger Chards are better as "sippers," than they are with food, except for cream sauces, etc.


          1. daveena RE: jimifer May 31, 2007 10:59 PM

            You might like Meridian - it's widely available, and very inexpensive (I've seen it sold for $5/ bottle).

            1. s
              SteveInSoCal RE: jimifer May 31, 2007 11:22 PM

              You're describing a "typical" California chard. There's more variety now days, but for those characteristics you're still better off sticking with California and far away from France. My favorite chard with those characteristics is Deloach. I've fouind that those types of chards are commonly from the Russian River area. If you narrow it down to that region and then look for something in your price range you might get lucky. But thats a tough price point for what you're looking for

              1 Reply
              1. re: SteveInSoCal
                Bill Hunt RE: SteveInSoCal Jun 1, 2007 08:15 AM

                Both the Meridian (above) and the Deloach should fit the bill. I have not had anything from Deloach, since Cecil sold, but I think that Michael is still the winemaker. I've had some of their Chards (some years ago), and preferred their Zins. However, that was then, this is now.

                Very good point on narrowing the search to a sub-app/region. As you state, just find one that you like, then sample all from there.

                Unfortunately, most of our domestic Chard runs about 4x the OP's price point, so I'm not much help.

                As for lower-end FR, and IT, for that matter, I have yet to find any that I'd think would fill the bill. Now, for high-end, food-friendly Chard, FR's offerings abound, but with higher acids, less fruit and greater costs. Not what the OP is looking for - though I still LOVE 'EM!


              2. s
                sweetnspicy RE: jimifer Jun 16, 2007 12:01 AM

                La Crema Chardonnay I think it is is the $10-$12 range.

                1. p
                  pof RE: jimifer Jun 25, 2007 07:44 PM

                  I am very into buttery chardonnays but I have never had any that were acceptable for under 20. It you want to splurge sometime get Rombauer chardonnay for $29, full malolacitic fermentation with a rich buttery flavor. This is a wine to savor, almost like a pre-dinner cocktail. Frank family is also very good. One of my favorite is Newton unfliltered chardonnay very buttery and complex but goes for $39 if your lucky. I think J Lohr is terrible. For $10 I wonder if you should look for less buttery.

                  1. c
                    chazzerking RE: jimifer Jun 26, 2007 03:18 PM

                    Rombauer fits your description to a "t". It is the prototypical "fat" california char.I prefer the Burgundian style , but can appreciate and enjoy the "butter-n-oak" style as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chazzerking
                      zin1953 RE: chazzerking Jun 26, 2007 08:49 PM

                      Yeah, but it's not $10!

                      1. re: zin1953
                        Midlife RE: zin1953 Jun 28, 2007 08:55 PM


                        I found the latest vintage of Rombauer Chard ('05, I think) to be rather oaky, but not very buttery, and I've heard the same comment from several people. Tasted much like many other Cal Chards of recent vintage. Any personal experience with a possible change in their profile?

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