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Have Some French Chardonnay for May PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
May 2018

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

TPix_Vino_5-18hose of you who read my column last month may remember that we were celebrating a very important red wine holiday in April with Malbec World Day. Fortunately for us, the festivities of spring drinking will continue through May.

We have two very important celebratory wine-drinking holidays back-to-back this month, starting with International Chardonnay Day on May 24, and National Wine Day on May 25. And what better way to commemorate both than by combining them into a celebration of the mother of all wines, or at least the wine that all our mothers drink, French Chardonnay.

The region made famous for producing some of the most classic Chardonnays is of course the region of Burgundy in France. A white Burgundy is always Chardonnay, but many think of the Chablis region as the epicenter of the finest of this varietal. It is true that almost any white Bourgogne will be worth your money, but you don’t have to pay top dollar to experience a satisfying French Chardonnay.

Let me tempt your tastes with one of these eight economical Chardonnays from France and give you a reason to say ooh là là without breaking the bank.

Let’s start with one white Burgundy that is arguably the best wine of the bunch. The 2016 Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your International Chardonnay Day celebration. Strong melon, green apple, and a bit of fresh earth on the nose give it a very traditional Burgundy personality right off the bat. Refreshing, crisp, and light with balanced acidity, this unoaked Chardonnay is perfect for a spring day.

For something a little creamier, try the 2016 Debeaune Special Selection Chardonnay. Fresh and clean on the nose with citrus and apple notes, this fruity Chardonnay smooths out with a touch of oak on the palate. Flavorful and round in the mouth means that will not leave you wanting.

The 2016 Ropiteau Chardonnay is another lovely light- to medium-bodied wine with a crisp but not overwhelming flavor palate. Citrus and apple dominate, but there is also a hint of nuts. If you’re looking for an entry-level Chardonnay, this is a great one to share with traditionally non-Chard drinkers.

If your wine tribe prefers more unoaked options for your Chardonnay Day, try the 2016 Luc Pirlot Classique Chardonnay. This medium-bodied, pale-yellow wine will leave you with a hint of pear-tart on the palate. Fresh acidity means that it will go well with your seafood feast, or even some creamy goat cheese.

Another crowd pleaser is sure to be the 2016 St. Martin Reserve Chardonnay from the South of France. Lots of stone fruit, apples, and pears hit you on the nose, and a balanced palate awaits with a round and slightly nutty finish. Not too tart, and not oaky at all, my notes on this wine say that it’s definitely a “good pick.”

The color of the next wine will most certainly bring about some smart comments from guests. The 2013 Kinetic Chardonnay may be showing a bit of its age with a deep, concentrated gold color. Strong almonds, pear, and honey on the nose lead you to a bold and round Chardonnay on the tongue. With a fuller body, this wine is more typical of the Chardonnays you see coming out of California.

For something that is extremely pleasant on the palate with a hint of nutty flavor and oak, be sure to pick up a bottle of the 2016 Bouchard Aîné & Fils Chardonnay. Rich pear and apple, along with intimations of something floral strike out on first sniff, leading to a fuller bodied wine with just a dab of butter to round it out. Another great “in-between” Chardonnay for those who can’t decide between crispy or oaky.

Finally, we have a label that will surely provoke a chuckle in even the most serious Chardonnay snobs. Try a 2016 Fat Bastard Chardonnay if you need to lighten up the mood. With more of that honey sweetness and a predominant tropical melon flavor, I’d say that this wine will pair better with your humorous conversation than with anything on the dinner table. Regardless of your level of wine mastery, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have an occasional Fat Bastard.

 

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