Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Editor at Snooth Happy to answer all your wine related questions.

Value Chardonnay

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Four Vines Chardonnay Santa Barbara County Naked Chardonnay (2010)
Comments: Quite intensely aromatic with notes of flowers, lees, nectarine and quince all coming together nicely. A bit soft on entry, this does pick up a bit of tension from some minerality on the mid-palate. This is a rather big wine and even though the acid can be sensed, it’s not sufficient to lend this enough brightness. It does snap on the finish along with some salty, quartzy minerality that lingers for quite some time. This has a lot going for it and just misses a touch on texture, but that finish is really intriguing. 88pts
Average price: $12.49 from 11 stores
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2 Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Barossa Valley (2009)
Comments: Very citrussy on the nose with lemon and lime notes and some interesting, starchy green cactus leaf/aloe leaf. There are some hints of oak with perhaps a touch of fennel, but this is rather high toned and fruit driven, if atypical. Rather light bodied on entry, this gains weight in the mouth and shows fine inner mouth tension and a lovely, sleek structure supporting ripe but not weighty fruit. There’s more green on the palate which is not unpleasant, but is unusual in that the citrus fruits are backed with that soft, vegetal tone. The finish is lovely with sour fruits, underlying wood spices and a nice pop of minerality that refreshes the palate. I love the mouth feel here, mostly taut but covered with a gauze of fruit. 88pts
Average price: $3.57 from 115 stores
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3 Wilson-Daniels Chardonnay Napa Valley (2010)
Comments: This is creamy on the nose but remains fairly fresh, with notes of toasty almond and coconut cream accenting the ripe apple fruit that has a touch of kiwi to it. Medium bodied and fairly rich, this offers up more creamy flavors on the palate but with a strong acid spine and plenty of nuanced toasty oak spice notes. Round, soft and well integrated. 87pts
Average price: $11.17 from 112 stores
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4 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay California Vintner's Reserve (2009)
Average price: $14.99 from 6 stores
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5 Food Network Entwine Chardonnay (2010)
Comments: Nicely aromatic with melon and a light veneer of oak emerging quickly from the glass, followed by candied lemon and peach tones. This is very bright and juicy on the palate and medium-light bodied, with a nice initial rush of sweet, lemon candy and orchard fruit flavors that are followed by some ripe peach and gentle caramel tones. The finish is pretty much more of the same with some added pollen notes, though the texture is very attractive with admirable transparency. This is lovely, decidedly middle of the road and it done well. 87pts
Previously available for $9.99
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6 Echelon Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay (2010)
Comments: Unusual nose here with notes of salty green olives over sweet wood spice tones with an inkling of fruit lurking at the base. A bit sweet though this has enough acidity under the sweetness to be almost balanced. On the palate, this also shows a certain green olive element over lemon meringue fruit. The finish is rather short with a decided sweetness to it, then something a bit harsh and chemical on the finale. 75pts
Average price: $16.99 from 4 stores
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