You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Friday 3 July 2015

Winemakers assess Napa’s ‘affordable’ Chardonnay

23rd April, 2013 by Catherine Seda Bugue - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

California Napa grapesKimberlee Nicholls of Markham Vineyards, makes a Chardonnay that retails for $18. Oak is used in its production, but is limited to 30% new oak.

Panelists all agreed that Chardonnay is very malleable, with Nicholls calling it a winemaker’s wine. Chardonnay wines, she said, are more reflective of a winemaker or the house style. For her Markham Chardonnay, it is 100% barrel fermented but in addition to a small percentage of new oak, only 40% goes through malolactic fermentation. She wants it to be a food wine.

Panelists examined the many different approaches that can be taken in the cellar which change the final style of the wine–from malolactic fermentation, lees stirring, leaving residual sugar in the wine, the use of stainless steel, staves or oak barrels, and so much more.

This, however, brings on difficulties in the marketplace as Chris Oggenfuss of CADE and Plumpjack wineries pointed out. “Napa has a hard time defining what a ‘Napa Chardonnay’ tastes like.”

This led panelists to discuss the need for stylistic variety in the market versus the confusion this can cause when diners review a restaurant wine list. If they don’t know a particular producer, they won’t know the style of Chardonnay they are ordering. A hot topic, panelists discussed this issue without resolve until the close of the tasting.

The top wines of the tasting indeed included a range of styles from un-oaked to round and buttery. Three different vintages (2010, 2011 and 2012) were included in the tasting and the three flights were arranged by vintage.

Click through the following pages to find out which wines the panelists chose the following as their favourite Chardonnays priced $30 and under.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An "epic" Riesling, a "Grecian beauty" that "gobsmacks with opulent tropical more...

Vinadeis unveils Languedoc 'black diamonds'

One of France’s largest wine producers has launched a high-end Languedoc more...

Bilingual 'tool' demystifies wine tasting

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority has developed a new "tool" which more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Delegat aims high with new Barossa brand

Oyster Bay owner Delegat has launched “a new global brand” from more...

MMD bolsters Italian portfolio with Mazzei

Maisons Marques et Domaines has extended its Italian portfolio with the more...

Chilean brand looks back to move forward

Chilean producer Santa Carolina has launched an “icon” wine with a more...

Warehouse Supervisor

London, United Kingdom

£27,000-£30,000 depending on experience

WOSA woos UK indies and on-trade

Wines of South Africa has announced plans for a new UK trade tasting later this more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...

Scots invited to explore Chianti Classico and Prosecco

The promotional bodies for Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene and Chianti more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Constellation to buy Meiomi for $315m

Constellation Brands is to buy Napa-based wine brand Meiomi for $315 million, more...

Austrian wine importer launches in Hong Kong

A wine importer specialising in Austrian wines has launched in Hong Kong to more...

Beaujolais pushes for sparkling AOC

Beaujolais is trying to gain AOC status for its sparkling wines which, with it more...

Business Development Executive

London, United Kingdom

£25-£30K + benefits, depending on experience

Oregon producer takes international view

One of Oregon’s youngest wine estates has partnered with Jackson Family Wines more...

Mumm releases Santana sparkler

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana has teamed up with Mumm Napa to release a more...

Top 10 wines in the US press

An impressive Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel blend from Uruguay and a Vernaccia from more...

PR Senior Account Manager/Director

London, United Kingdom

Depending on experience

Flavoured styles lead drinks NPD

A new report from Nielsen shows that flavoured variants are dominating more...

Mumm releases vintage collection

Champagne Mumm has released a new “Collection du Chef de Caves”, featuring more...

Fire devastates New Zealand winery

A fire has ripped through a New Zealand winery destroying its offices, kitchen more...

Global Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Top 10 wines in the UK press

An English fizz fit for Wimbledon, a "chunky, berry-stuffed" Negroamaro and a more...

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view is it best to buy the “vintages of the more...