Chardonnay is Back. Please Plan Accordingly.

Posted January 23, 2015

Steve Unwin


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Let’s just say what we’re all thinking: Chardonnay has been a dirty word for a while now.

It’s a grape that, in the minds of many young wine drinkers, has been relegated to the glasses of ambivalent moms and disinterested dates who will “just have the house white, please.” A few years ago we all somehow decided that oak was dishonest, and using it on an innocent white wine was the equivalent of GMO-cage-raised-high-fructose-corn-syrup. The answer to this was “Naked” everything, and all of a sudden we were forced to confront the fact that austere, authoritarian Chardonnay wearing a Riseling-shaped gimp mask wasn’t filling the void. (All of this is to say nothing of Burgundy. They have their own thing going.)

Recently, though, winemakers and consumers have begun to embrace the true shape of Chardonnay. A rubenesque white that is best expressed through the embrace of its round white fruit and generous apple notes. There is a world between buttered popcorn, and mignonette-soaked oyster. A world where chubby little fruit-forward Chardonnays romp through fields of honeysuckle and lemon verbena. It’s nice there. We just bought a time-share.

Would you like to visit? Here are your tickets:

2013 La Fruitiere Chardonnay

If this is the first time you’ve seen a Loire Chardonnay, get ready, because we have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more in the near future. This is a spectacular expression of green apple. Like, straight-up adult apple juice with a lovely round mouthfeel, and a touch of citrus fruit. Absolutely delicious juice.

2011 Cranetown Napa Chardonnay

Come on down to Cranetown, where the fruit is always fresh, and the bellhops are always discrete. Yes there is oak here, and yes it’s used responsibly. That is further balanced by the fact that this Chard has a few years on it which takes all of the secondary flavors through an advanced degree in sexiness (It’s a UCLA thing) and displays notes of hazelnut and butterscotch.

Steve Unwin (call him Stunwin) cut his teeth in the Washington Wine industry working in tastings rooms on the Red Mountain AVA. In NYC he became an early employee of the wine startup Lot18, where he would eventually earn his Advanced WSET cerification with distinction. Currently, he works with internet wine legend Gary Vaynerchuk creating awesome content all over the internets.

Item: 81978

750 mL

Retail: $30.00

$11.99 per btl

Product Label.

La Fruitiere Chardonnay

88 Stephan Reinhardt - Robert...

Item: 85896

750 mL

Retail: $16.99

$12.98 per btl