Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Best of Niagara: Chardonnay
The use of oak varries from producer to producer. Style, terroir and budget affect each wine's selected oak treatment, including many fine un-oaked Chardonnays on the market. Below is a selection of the Chardonnays, both oaked and otherwise, sorted by price point, that we feel are the best of Niagara:
$20 and below:
Fielding Estate Winery 2009 Un-Oaked Chardonnay - $15.95
Aromas of lemon drops are followed by orchard and citrus fruit flavours. easy going, summer sipper at a great price. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
Chateau des Charmes 2006 Paul Bosc Vineyard Chardonnay - $22
Barrel fermented, the wine spends one year in French Oak "sur lie" and as a result has some of the leesy and autolytic notes one would expect. However, it is the stonefruit and mineral qualities that characterize this wine. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
The entry-level Chardonnay from Le Clos Jordanne is far from a bottom feeder. Good concentration of aromas and flavours of classic orchard fruits with good minerality. A blend of fruit grown on the winery's 3 main vineyards. Where to buy: LCBO stores and Jackson-Triggs Niagara.
A superb example of a restrained, complex and very tasty Beamsville Bench Chardonnay. This wine is a master-class on the balance of sugar to acid and the balance of fruit to mineral flsvours and aromas. Both are done beautifully. Where to buy: Direct from winery.
$40 and below:
Brilliant in every way. Concentration, crispness and character. Simply devine Chardonnay with present but not overdone oak treatment. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.
This focused and concentrated Chardonnay is a blend of two clones, 76 and 95, grown in the vineyard surrounding our the estate. Where to buy: Direct from winery or online.