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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1997 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Two cheap Chardonnays

Based on favorable recommendations from online wine lovers in the UK, I tried a well-regarded budget-level Chardonnay from Australia last night; and just to keep things honest, I matched it "blind" against a Chilean Chardonnay that a local wine merchant touted as a great value. My conclusions? They're both OK, but this, quite frankly, is not my favorite style of wine.
Lindemans 1996 Bin 65 South Eastern Australia Chardonnay ($6.99)
Clear, pale greenish-gold. Delicious apple scent with notes of pineapple and vanilla. Full, somewhat buttery, good tropical-fruit flavors follow the nose. As it warms in the glass, though, it becomes awfully "fat," shy of structure, with an odd bitterness in the aftertaste. Still, it's a decent if simple Chardonnay, more akin to the New World than the Old, and made a particularly good match with chicken-apple sausages sauteed with onions and green peppers. Importer: PWG Vintners USA Inc., Monterey, Calif. (July 23, 1997)

Terra Nova 1995 Maipo Valley (Chile) Chardonnay ($7.99)
Pale brass color. Tart cooking apples in the aroma; crisp and fresh flavor, surprisingly lean, apples and lemon-squirt acidity. Markedly different from the Australian, lean and tart, reminds me very much of a simple Macon-Villages. Importer: Freixenet USA, Sonoma, Calif. (July 23, 1997)

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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