Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rating: **** $ Bellchambers Chardonnay, California, 2009 - Wine Review (BEST VALUE)

Find prices and retail availability for value-priced California chardonnays.

Initial review, by way of background: This is Bellchambers Chardonnay, California, 2009, finished at 13.% alcohol.   It is an offering from the Wine Insiders service, and is a California Wine Club Selection.

In the glass: Transparent, with a light vanilla cast with just a hint of lemon color added. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this California chardonnay shows sweet, sleek and lightly sandy aromas, suggesting both depth and brightness.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are a sleek butterscotch middle - not sweet, but not dry, carried along with light tropical fruits.  While not acidic, a ripe white peach note freshens the experience.  The finish glides along on a clean mineral backbone, with just a touch of sugar clenching your cheeks on the close. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for friendliness AND complexity.  Best value at this price.

Following longer decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle, under vacuum:   The palate has remained consistent, though lost the "sandy" edge.  On the palate, all of the original elements remain.  But coming along as well is a subtle and depth-creating hint of oak, bringing a welcome roundness without sacrificing the bright flavors.  This moves up to four full stars, making this an awesome value for a bargain wine, with the extra added decant. 

Find prices and retail availability for value-priced California chardonnays.

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