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Jul 15, 2012 03:03 PM

Buttery Chardonnay

Can anyone suggest a chardonnay that is very buttery?

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    1. re: goldangl95

      I have tried Rombauer, Shafer, and Far Niente. However, I have never tried Alpha Omega, so I will pick that up this weekend. Thanks!

      1. re: wineanddine2nite

        I hope they still have some this weekend, I know they were selling out . Also, their unoaked chardonnay is very pleasant, but it's not buttery like their regular chardonnay. (Their reds are quite good as well).

        1. re: wineanddine2nite

          Far Niente is not buttery. No ML. Perhaps there's a confusion of terms.

          Rombauer is buttery. Franciscan is buttery. Yellow Tail is buttery. Marimar Torres Reserve
          is very buttery.

          Far Niente is not. It does a creaminess from battonage and sur lie aging, but the winery uses no ML in their Chardonnay and never has.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Prepare for me to sound very uneducated, but what is ML?

            1. re: wineanddine2nite

              Malolactic fermentation. It changes the acid in the wine from malic (sharp/tart) to lactic acid (the acid found in milk - soft/creamy). Traditionally (as in French white burgundy traditionally) 100% of the chardonnay goes through this process to create a creamier feel. Now, many winemakers play with that percentage.

              As chardonnay, as I understand, is a very very malleable grape. What is done to the grape during the fermentation process can very much change how it tastes.

              1. re: wineanddine2nite

                No problem about being uneducated or asking questions, ever. There is so much to learn, if you're interested.

                Here's a great article from Eric Asimov of the New York Times that explains malolactic fermentation -- used to create that buttery taste -- and when it is and isn't judiciously applied to California chardonnay. Malolactic is a secondary fermentation; the first is to turn grape juice into wine.


              2. re: maria lorraine

                ml, I think many folks confuse that creaminess (a good thing) with buttery (not so much, imho). Not sure why.

          2. Just saw this thread, must have missed it when I posted the same question an hour ago. Sorry to have asked the same question again. Thanks for the list of other similar threads on Chowhound and the article on ML ferrmentation. We love lots of types of wine, but are very particular about our chards.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Phillipo

              Don't be sorry you asked a question. Some people have been using chowhound for a while and are very familar with the site. It looks like you and I are still pretty new to it and should be given the chance to learn as others once did, even if it has been discussed ad nauseam.

            2. Adding Stonestreet to this list. Pricey - most are at about $50 a bottle (haven't tried the $25ish dollar version).

              1. So BUMMED! Please tell me that Rombauer is NOT the standard bearer of buttery chardonnays! I have been on a quest to find a buttery chardonnay (after sipping an incredibly buttery chardonnay and failing to note what it was! What WAS I thinking?!) and have been sorely disappointed by recommendations. Hubby (bless his heart) splurged on a Rombauer for Christmas as all else had failed abysmally. Having just sipped said Rombauer with great anticipation, I am sad to say (understatement) that it didn't hold a candle to the still unnamed buttery chardonnay that started this quest. I confess, I didn't have the heart to admit to Hubby that R failed to meet the goal. Not to be daunted, the quest continues. I welcome any and all recommendations though I'm beginning to think a buttery chardonnay is as elusive as the unicorn...

                7 Replies
                1. re: noenophile

                  I have a few favorites. Cakebread but it has got way over priced. LE creme... Not a bad price point. Then there is mer sol lie I love but getting more up there at 25 a bottle

                  1. re: Maryriceoc

                    >>> LE creme... Not a bad price point. <<<

                    Do you mean La Crema?

                    1. re: Maryriceoc

                      Also, I think the other one is likely Mer de Soleil.

                      Welcome, Maryriceoc. There are really not a lot of issues raised here, but it's more helpful to everyone if the names are right. People really do go looking for wines based on what they read in these posts.

                    2. re: noenophile

                      Sad to say that wonderful buttery chard that you had could have been Rombauet. The smooth buttery flavor comes from a special secondary fermentation process called Malolactic fermentation. It is the Malolactic acid that makes the smooth buttery chard that like you I think is so wonderful. Unfortunately Rombauer stopped using the Malolactic fermentation process 5 or so years ago. Really bummed me out. Rombauer Chardonnay used to be known as the red wine drinkers Chardonnay. My wife and I are also on the hunt for an adequate replacement. Good luck to us all.

                      1. re: Darth

                        Shhhhhh! Don't tell everyone that Rombauer isn't really buttery any more. You'll spoil if for a whole lot of people here in SoCal. ;o)))

                        To my palate some vintages are less oaky and lower in acid than others, which seems to help perpetuate the 'buttery' thing. JMHO

                        1. re: MaryWuestman

                          According to my sources JAM Cellars has run out of the latest vintage of Butter and won't release the next one until April. Lots of unhappy people around here.