jamie goode's wine blog

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I didn't hold out much hope for a six year old bottle of Californian Chardonnay, although Calera are supposed to be one of the better producers of this variety. But it always pays to taste with an open mind, and I'm actually quite enjoying this wine. White Burgundy it ain't, though.

Calera Chardonnay 2000 Central Coast, California
Quite a deep yellow gold colour, this has a full, complex nose with malty, buttery, toasty tropical fruit combined with a hint of coffee and honey. This probably sounds a bit too much, but the palate is quite well balanced with rich figgy, toasty, butterscotchy fruit backed up by good acidity, together with some fruit sweetness. This is a wine that would work really well with rich seafood or lobster, and while it's certainly towards the end of its peak drinking window (I'd have probably preferred it a couple of years back), it's still very much alive and offers a complex, rich, buttery expression of Chardonnay. I'm enjoying it, although I feel a but guilty about this - we're supposed to scorn Californian Chardonnay, aren't we? Very good/excellent 91/100 (£12.99 Waitrose)

I feel a series of blogs on Chardonnay coming up. I have quite a few in my tasting queue.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger g58 said...

I'd be interested in that since I'm currently looking at a lot of Chardonnays to choose from. Some of them, like the 2002 Cervaro, seem like huge investments, and I hope they'll keep long enough for the appropriate occasion.

Then others like a vin de pays des côtes de Gascogne seem like throwaways they're so chuggable and affordable.

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Otto N said...

Glad to hear about the Chardonnay! I'm not much of a fan of Calif wines, but I have enjoyed the few Calera's Pinots I've had. I've been hoping to taste their other wines also. With your note, it seems I should hunt some down.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Ben Smith, Bibendum said...

Hi Jamie
Interestingly we put the 2002 of this wine into a blind USA v France taste off which we hastily assembled for the Sunday Times just after the Judgement of Paris re-runs. It fooled several well-trained palates and most thought it was the French entry! Just goes to show. Think it's a great wine anyway.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Michael Veale said...

May I send you a bottle of Chileno Chardonnay for your Chardonnay tasting? Or of course, you can buy your own from your local supermarket!

At 2:59 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

why do you still have some 2000? (I'm assuming Waitrose got this from you) - I'd have though it was peaking maybe a couple of years back.


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