November 13, 2005

Two Chardonnays – disappointing.

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes
Ignoring the wines from the Saturday Bloggermeet (Spanish Wine and Food; tasting notes to come) I have sampled, nay, drunk two disappointing wines over the last few days. Two Chardonnays. First up one from Argentina – lightly oaked and pleasantly buttery, the second unoaked from an obscure region of France. With a nod to those who like to fathom my ‘tastes’ I disliked both.

Doña Paula Chardonnay

Wine Tasting Note: Doña Paula Estate Chardonnay, 2003, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina.
Oddbins £7.99.
So what’s wrong with this? Dull. That’s what. It comes with classy enough packaging, boasts of 14.5% alcohol and has more than a waft of oak. But it could have been from anywhere – perfectly drinkable, tropical fruits nuzzled up to the oak. Textured and full. But dull. Could have been from anywhere and frankly for eight quid I like, in fact demand, a little excitement in my bottle. I found it in the far corner of my local Oddbins, the shelves where ‘limited parcels’ and sundry ‘specials’ lay. I didn’t find it special at all. Drinkable? Indeed, but who cares? Alcohol 14.5%.
Scribblings Rating – 80/100

Jean-Marc Brocard Chardonnay

Wine Tasting Note: Jean-Marc Brocard Chardonnay, 2004, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Tannay, France.
Waitrose £5.99.
On the interest scale this ranks highly – VdP des Coteaux de Tannay, according to the Waitrose website this VdP lies within Burgundy, while my Hachette Guide to French Wines clearly places the region in the Loire; admittedly it is the far east of the Loire, just a corks-throw short of Burgundy proper. A Chablis-styled Chardonnay, unoaked. But it has a funny smell. So odd I thought the glass was dirty. Sadly it tastes like it smells. Crisp acidity, minerally texture and a straw-unripened peaches flavour. Herby. It may go well with fish, steamed with plenty of herbs, seafood too. By itself it was difficult and ‘tight’. There is Leek and Chicken risotto tonight (left-overs night) for which this was purchased as an accompaniment; I shall have to add plenty of herbs. Alcohol 12.5%.
Scribblings Rating – 84/100

  1. james governor November 14, 2005

    now that is more like it. i still think 80/100 is far too high for a wine you dont like. what it really amounts to is about 1 out of 5, right?
    But this is a really good useful review to have on the context of your white choices.
    one you should try – Marks and Spencer do an argentinian Torrontes for about three quid, its lively and rather nice. and i had never even heard of Torrontes before!

  2. Andrew November 14, 2005

    1 out of 5? Umm, I guess but I would prefer 10 out of 20 for the first and 13 out of 20 for the second…. four criteria, five points to each. I do think the four criteria tell much more than a simple 1-5 score.
    Torrontes – love the grape. I must have posted some notes on Torrontes… but it would appear not…

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