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Jan 17, 2009 01:39 AM

Best Chardonnay $20 or under?

My parents and a few family friends are coming over for dinner tonight and we want to buy a very tasty , balanced chardonnay with subtle butter and oak flavors. We have a Total Wine near our house so I have been browsing their selection and cross-checking ratings on cellartracker.

Thus far I have come up with a list of five chards that seem to fit the bill:

2007 Kali Hart ($14.99)
2007 La Crema ($16.99)
2006 Sonoma-Loeb ($17.99)
2006 MacRostie ($19.99)
2006 Smith-Madrone ($19.99)

Any feedback from your experiences drinking these wines would be much appreciated. Also, if you have had a delicious chard under $20 that matches our description but isn't part of my list please name it here.

Thanks for your input!

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  1. My favorite in the range is the Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells and Canoe Ridge line. They have a bit of oak but taste well beyond their price.

    1. Out of this list, I've had the La Crema which a solid favorite at my store and is very nice.
      Have a great dinner!

      1. My favorite inexpensive chardonnay is Foxglove, the second label for Varner, but it's all stainless steel. No oak.
        I don't recall Kali Hart having oak. Perhaps I'm confusing it with a similarly named wine.

        1. I've always liked Chateau Souverain and Windsor. I think both are even under $15, let alone $20.

          1. 2005 Massolino Chard $15
            2006 Marquese de Casa Concha Chard $18
            2006 MArtin Ray Russian River Chard $18
            2007 Wente Riva Ranch Chard $18

            Someone suggested The Ste Michelle Indian Wells...great pick. Also, the Kali Hart was good when it was $14...I think CT is up over that now when you can find. And the La Crema is my go to.