Inexpensive Chardonnay Taste Off

As it was the first nice weekend day where we could sit in the backyard and drink wine we decided to try three different inexpensive Chardonnay’s. We opened a 2008 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Chalk Hill Sonoma County Chardonnay, a 2009 Lucky Star “California Appellation” Chardonnay and a 2009 Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay from South Australia. All three of these are between $10 and $20.

2008 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay – Light yellow color. Spicy oak and minerality in the nose. Spicy oak, minerality and grapefruit flavor. Plenty of acid and while there is plenty of oak you can also taste the Chardonnay grape. No butterscotch and a good long finish. This is Nancy’s favorite while it ties with the Yalumba for me.

2009 Lucky Star – Light yellow color. I found a little sourness on the nose nose along wit a floral scent. That may be the result of a little Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris blended in. Sweet, citrus, tropical fruit, floral and grassy flavors as the wine warms up. Good acid and a long finish. I don’t believe this wine sees any oak and I thought there may be a little residual sugar.

2009 Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay – Also a light yellow color like the previous wines with just a hint of green. Citrus and mineraly nose. Tropical fruit flavor along with tart citrus, maybe grapefruit and minerals in the mouth, lots of acid. Nancy felt this wine was kind of one dimensional but I got a lot out of it.

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