Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

#Chardonnay day 2011: Oak is still best for Furniture, not Chardonnay.

May 27, 2011

So, yesterday was #Chardonnay day, the Twitter event courtesy of Rick Bakas, to celebrate around the globe all things Chardonnay.  Perhaps, Gentle Reader, you participated yourself.

I spent my part of the event, helping my friends at host their Chardonnay event, after doing some online video tastings of Chards for them:

I myself don't yet "tweet", despite encouragement from the "young-uns".

Now, I love Chardonnay, well, "certain" Chardonnay to be more precise. Essentially, Burgundy and related versions thereof; to wit: Chablis, Macon etc.

What I can not wrap my head around, frankly, is most of what I drank yesterday: California Chardonnay, and one Oregon version. One friend yesterday, kept pouring different Chardonnays for me, calling them "rock star", "you will LOVE this one" and oohing and ahhing over another one, unknown to me, as if it were the holy grail itself, avowing "I'm certain no one else in Austin is drinking this today!".

To be honest, they did not impress me. At all. They were ok, they were fine, I wanted to like them better, but, well, I just didn't.  They were not that "aha!" moment for me, the thrill of the amazing on one's palate.

The General: over ripe fruit, tropical in nature,  a bit flabby and all lacking good acidity and crisp structure. Of Course, OAK… (with one "unoaked" exception that still had the previous flaws to some degree).

The Specifics:
The High Profile: Patz & Hall "Hyde" 2008.  When first tasted right out of the bottle and a bit warm, it showed decently. Good acid, some minerality, baked apple and pear.  Re tasted the same bottle later and another bottle yesterday: Acids fall of dramatically and fast, leaving a thin, flabby baked flavor to the wine.  Too much oak for me even under $40…boring.

The Unoaked Version: Passagio "New Generation" 2010. Tropical over ripe fruit, melon, pear,apricot… typical Calfifornia style, decent acidity, but a bit thin. A noble effort to leave the oak for some chairs or a table. $20 per bottle makes it more attractive.
My video tasting :

The "Rock Star Wine" (not)…..Beacon Hill Chardonnay 2007, Oregon (Yamhill). Baked fruit, decent acidity, not hugely complex, and dominated with oak leaving a spicy, clove like finish. It was ok. Was it "rock star"? nope…

The "Holy Grail Itself" (not)…DuMol Chardonnay "Chloe" 2008.  OK, I confess it was the least objectionable wine of the day. Good structure and acidity, nice mouthfeel, but still the over ripe tropical fruit tones and noticeable oak.  I thought I liked it better until I found out afterwards that the stuff is $70 a bottle. Screw that, for that sort of money I can buy TWO bottles of De Montille Savigny white or one De Montille Puligny Montrachet from Burgundy! Now THOSE are Rock Star!

Yr Mst Hmbl & Obdt Svt
Rob Moshein
Austin Wine Guy

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