Feature

The joys of unadulterated Chardonnay

Tired of "Chardonnays that taste like overripe tropical fruit” soaked in new oak barrels?

“After decades of drinking Chardonnays that taste like overripe tropical fruit” soaked in new oak barrels, some wine drinkers have given up on the grape, said Bob Hosmon in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. But I’m not yet ready to join those crying “ABC”—“Anything but Chardonnay.” After all, the Chardonnay-based whites from France’s Burgundy region have none of those heavy flavors. Still, those wines “can be expensive, sometimes very expensive,” so I went looking for more affordable options.

2008 Morgan Metallico Unoaked Chardonnay California, $20 One of “a growing number of California Chardonnays that don’t spend time in new oak barrels,” this wine from Monterey County “tastes of fresh fruit with a crisp finish.”

2007 Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay California, $25“The way Chardonnay should taste”—like fresh, clean fruit. This vintage from the Santa Lucia Highlands is excellent with seafood, roast chicken, or by itself as an apèritif.2007 Yarden Odem Vineyard Chardonnay Israel, $18Produced in the Galilee region, this is a first-rate wine with “hints of fruit and spice.”

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