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I'll Drink to That! What is your favorite beverage to have with a cigar? Juice? Cola? Beer? Port? Single Malt Scotch? This room is for the discussion of beverages, especially alcoholic beverages that go well with cigars!

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Old 08-27-2008, 12:03 AM   #1
Briandg
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Can I find a chardonnay that I am going to like?

Can I find a chardonnay that I am going to like? I have had maybe a dozen in my life, generally staying with reds. I love traminers. I like Rhines, I have had cheap whites, and will do the occasional white zin.

Chardonnay, however, never seems dry and crisp like I expect. it has a heavy body, a fruityiness, and other qualities I like, but it ususally has a weird sort of component, and I always wonder if I have stored them too long, or improperly.

Can anyone suggest a chardonnay, eight bucks or less, that seems a little dryer, crisper, and less heavy handed on the stale fruit?

I just had a bottle of 2004 Century from Beulieau, and I have never had a beaulieye or whatever that name is, that disappointed me. The other ones have been from the table wine companies, or from the seen on TV labels.

I'd like to find a white to have with thanksgiving. my wife doesn't really like wines, and I'm tired of drinking alone at the table.

Keep in mind that I need to be able to find this in JOPLIN.
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: Can I find a chardonnay that I am going to like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandg
...eight bucks or less...
That would be a tall order in my neck of the woods!

The first thought that comes to mind is, of course, a good, crisp, mineral-laden Chablis. But such a wine will almost certainly exceed your budget parameters.

Chile perhaps? Errazuriz and Santa Rita are reliable producers.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:47 AM   #3
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From your description, you're looking more for a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chardonnay.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:31 AM   #4
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Red Bicyclette 2005 Chardonnay. I Iiked it. $9.99 I think I paid. Give her a shot.

-AM
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:35 AM   #5
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I agree with BigO...why even look for a Chard with those characteristics? Go with a Sav Blanc or Chablis.

I did have a Chard like you are talking about...just drank the last of them, actually. Can't recall the name, but it was an un-oaked chard from Cali. Travis perhaps?

Personally, I like my Chards big and buttery.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:06 AM   #6
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you might (maybe) find a bargain french chard that is unoaked. The oaking of chards - a cali thing - makes them laden with vanilla and caramel flavors. I like it once in a while, but it can get cloying quickly and I think it was a gimmick so the wines would taste way different from french chards and win awards...

OK, try a sauv blanc (or fume blanc) or a pinot grigio or a pinot blanc... Barefoot is OK, and is usually cheap (and you didn't give your left nut if you don't like it). Otheres - Hogue, Santa Rita, Concha y Toro, and Monkey Bay are all pretty solid bargain barnds
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigO
From your description, you're looking more for a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chardonnay.
If I'm following this all correctly, you guys are saying that the chardonay is that sort of wine? a big, bulky, almost sweetish and fruity, but a sort of a cloying and bitter character?

What I always liked about the traminers is that they are a fresh and crisp wine, almost like a sprite in character. Mild sweetness, but with a bite. Some green type notes, not sure how to say that, but far different from a heavily fruity wine.

Rhines, like Liebframilch, have the cleaner taste with a stronger sweetness, without the astringent taste of cheap chablis. I don't necessarily like the sweetness, it is just something I can drink that isn't unpleasant. I generally don't care for the finish on most of them, like an artificial sweetener had been used.

I'll take all of this into advisement, and take a look at sam's soon.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apothecary Puff
you might (maybe) find a bargain french chard that is unoaked. The oaking of chards - a cali thing - makes them laden with vanilla and caramel flavors. I like it once in a while, but it can get cloying quickly and I think it was a gimmick so the wines would taste way different from french chards and win awards...

OK, try a sauv blanc (or fume blanc) or a pinot grigio or a pinot blanc... Barefoot is OK, and is usually cheap (and you didn't give your left nut if you don't like it). Otheres - Hogue, Santa Rita, Concha y Toro, and Monkey Bay are all pretty solid bargain barnds
I was thinking kind of the same thing (a french chard), plus new world wines tend to be more "fruit forward," so you get a big WHANG! straight off the bat and even if it isn't sweet the powerful fruit punch in the kisser can kind of give you that impression.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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There are a lot of adjectives I've seen attributed to Chardonnay. 'Crisp' is among the rarest.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigO
There are a lot of adjectives I've seen attributed to Chardonnay. 'Crisp' is among the rarest.
Many factors lie behind this...

Firstly, Chardonnay, as a grape variety, can be notoriously overproductive on the vine, leading to a rather insipid wine. Conscientious winemakers will take steps (such as bunch clearing for reduced yields and limiting plantings to less fertile soils) to avoid this fault.

Secondly, many producers aim straight for the tastes of the majority of Chardonnay lovers. And this segment of the public seems to prefer the well-oaked, buttery, sumptuous style over the classically leaner and crisper. Even when unoaked, a Chardonay will tend to accentuate the fruit rather than any underlying secondary traits such as firm acidity or mineral nuances derived from the soil. It takes skill to create a well-balanced Chardonnay.

Thirdly, fermentation of Chardonay can easily lead to a quite high alcoholic level (above 13%ABV), which itself translates into a fuller, sweeter sort of white wine.

As I've stated many times previously, I'm not a great Chardonnay fan (largely for the reasons stated above). But there ARE good examples around, provided one is willing to search and also provided one occasionally bites the bullet cost-wise. I recently broached a bottle of 2005 Closson Chase (oak elévage) Chardonay from Prince Edward County, and this wine fully lived up to its reputation - and, alas, asking price.

If you're in the market for a reliable Chablis producer (French), I would suggest William Fevre. His 2006s and 2007s are very good. Count on spending between $15US and $20US for his entry-level cuvées, and a fair bit more for his Premier and Grand Cru wines. This may seem a tad pricey, but the quality IS there!
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