Kendall-Jackson launches low cal Chardonnay
The producer of America’s best selling Chardonnay has added a lower calorie variant to tap in to the fast-growing ‘lighter wines’ category in the US.
From May this year there’s be a new offer under the Kendall-Jackson brand, whose Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay has been the US’s most popular Chardonnay for more than 26 years.
Called Avant, it’s a ‘lower calorie’ Chardonnay that boasts “only 85 calories, no sugar and 3 grams of carbs per serving”, according to the producer, Jackson Family Wines.
This means that the new wine contains around 23% fewer calories than the standard Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, based on a 150ml serving of wine at 14% abv, which contains 111 calories from the alcohol alone.
Indeed, the new Avant Chardonnay contains fewer calories because it has a lower abv, with just 9%, a level achieved by picking the grapes earlier in the ripening period, when they have a lower concentration of sugar.
However, to ensure the Chardonnay is not unpleasantly tart, this early-harvest portion of grapes is then blended with a second pick of fully ripe berries to bring the tropical fruit flavours that lovers of Californian Chardonnay desire.
Kendall-Jackson winemaker Randy Ullom explains, “An initial harvest of grapes picked on the earlier side ensures lower sugar. A secondary harvest later in the season offers more complexity and concentration, which complements the wine, producing a full-bodied blend that’s structurally balanced and delicious, yet lower in alcohol and calories.”
Like the Vintner’s Reserve, the Avant Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels to bring a touch of vanilla to the wine, which is described as tasting of “grapefruit, pineapple, creamy lemon meringue and delicate white flowers”.
The 9% Chardonnay is also vegan-friendly and comes with an RRP in the US of $17.
Jackson Family Wines highlighted the commercial potential for this new wine by noting that the ‘lighter wines’ category had grown by 90% in the US in the past year.