Most of the times I have avoided California Chardonnay and yes, for the same reasons most people avoid all Chardonnays together because of oak. I like a good Virginia Chardonnay where they try to minimize the influences of the oak because for me that buttery texture can just get too heavy some times. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are places in California that do very little oaked Chardonnay just like there are some over-oaked Virginia wines.
This brings me to the 2009 Bjornstad Chardonnay, which was a gift from Underground Cellar for participating in a contest. Disclaimer: as with all wines bought or gift I will always give an honest review. 2nd disclaimer: I am quite worried about tasting a California Chardonnay. It did receive 92 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Here are the tasting notes from the winery’s website:
2009 Sonoma County Chardonnay
Aromas of creamy vanilla, spice and roasty, toasty creme bruleé interweave with the rich tropical fruit qualities and then, a mineral aspect of crushed stone. The texture of the wine is rich and opulent with flavors of stone fruit of peach and apricot and vanilla custard. The richness of the wine is beautifully balanced with bright acidity and a solid structure, finally giving way to a long and persistent finish. This wine is unfiltered and unfined and may show an opaque quality, which is entirely natural.
Ok so we have creamy and not buttery. My hopes are up. So how was it?
Color – Definitely can tell that it is unfiltered. This wine is a hazy pale yellow.
Nose – Apple, Pineapple, a little bit of vanilla.
Taste – Tropical fruit, with everything from banana, pineapple, and strawberries.
Finish – Little buttery but not bad. Long finish with medium acid.
Overall, this wine was amazing. I was really surprised with every sip. The tropical fruit flavors were so strong and vibrant that every time I took a sip I said “Wow.” I would highly recommend this wine to someone who really wants to challenge their palate and try something different.