Two Californian Chardonnays
'Have I gone mad?' asks Jancis Robinson as she selects the Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay 2006 as her wine of the week. As one of the world's top wine commentators and a super-nice person to boot, Jancis is clearly pretty sane, and there's some real merit in this wine, although it is still quite a commercial style of Chardonnay without a whole load of complexity. Much more impressive is another Californian I opened tonight, from Miguel Torres' sister Marimar in the Russian River Valley. Admittedly, this wine is much more expensive, but then it offers a lot more.
Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay 2006 California
Fresh, fruit driven nose with hints of citrus peel and white peach. The palate is quite crisp with a bit of nutty richness, some tropical fruit and notes of lemon and spice. A solid commercial Chardonnay with some freshness and definition. 83/100 (£7.20 all supermarkets, Thresher and some independents, but it's much cheaper in the USA, apparently)
Marimar Estate Acero Chardonnay Don Miguel Vineyard 2006 Russian River Valley, Sonoma
This unoaked Chardonnay is really stylish. This is full flavoured and concentrated with a nice nuttiness and some buttery richness to the focused, slightly sweet-tasting fruit with good acidity and a long, minerally finish. Much more complex than many unoaked Chardonnays, with good food compatibility. You sort of expect Californian Chardonnay to be over-blown, so it's a lovely surprise to find a wine like this, even though it is a hefty 14.2% alcohol. 90/100
Find these wines where you are with www.wine-searcher.com