Chardonnay seems to be that friend that everyone enjoys. It’s the middle child, not super sweet like its younger sibling, Moscato, and not as much of an acquired taste as the older sibling, Malbec. If you’re invited to a dinner party and know nothing about wine or want to bring a safe choice then grab a bottle of Chardonnay.
Chardonnay does have an oaked or unoaked flavor depending on what region it comes from. American Chardonnays are usually aged in new oak barrels, which is where it gets the oaky and buttery taste from, and European ones are usually aged in stainless steel, giving it a flavor that tends towards fresh apples and citrus notes.
There are people who do not enjoy an oaked Chardonnay, so there may be one or two people at the party who will pass on it. I enjoy a lightly oaked one over heavily oaked, and since I like Sauvignon Blanc, which has bright bursts of citrus, I really enjoy European Chardonnays with their citrus and tart apple flavor.
This Chardonnay is an everyday Regular Buy and costs $6.49. According to the label:
Our Chardonnay combines artisan winemaking and the best Columbia Valley vineyards of Washington State to create a world-class wine of outstanding quality and value. Smooth vanilla and tropical fruit aromas with hints of vanilla compliment the fresh pear, sweet coconut, and subtle toast flavors on the palate. The finish is round and lucious. Pair with appetizers, poultry, seafood, and pork. Best served chilled
Patterson, WA. 13.8% ALC. by Vol.
Looking at the glass of 2017 Crestwood Barrel Chardonnay, it does have a nice medium yellow hue with a slight grassy green tint. Upon the first inhale I got a lightly oaked aroma with a bit of floral and pear. And it’s hard to explain, but although it was chilled, it smelled warm. Perhaps that was the vanilla notes described on the label, but it didn’t smell at all like vanilla to me.
A bit of oak comes through in the first sip and it is slightly buttery in taste and mouth feel. It’s kind of one note, although it’s an enjoyable one note. It’s a bit more full of flavor at the beginning and doesn’t have a big finish. The Chardonnay just kind of lingers on your taste buds, unlike some wines that have a big finish and then quickly fade away. Even five minutes later the oaky, buttery notes were still present in my mouth.
All in all, a decent Chardonnay especially with it being only $6.49. I would give it an 82 rating and could see myself purchasing a couple more bottles to go with some salmon on the grill or a roasted chicken.