Chardonnay I do -James Melendez

Just figuring out a title for this story is hard to place on my computer screen (i.e. ‘pen-to-paper’ so to speak).  Symbolically, I might write the title with arrows pointing at and away lots of question marks and several exclamation points.  Say the word Chardonnay and it seems to be a charged word–and for some positive, others greatly negative filled with yesteryear memories of an abundance of butter and oak.  But instead Chardonnay just needs to be written with no need for apologies or being shy about it.

I have heard other wine writers complain that Chardonnay is such a neutral grape… a ‘why bother proposition’.  If you had never had Chardonnay before and heard only neutral position comments about Chardonnay one might think it is only water and alcohol.  Chardonnay can present with weight, a bit of viscosity, and ranging from very dry and nuanced to apple-citrus, floral, spice and other characteristics.

And yet I know some people who enjoy Chardonnay and figure it to be their go to and central wine.  The memories of overly oaked Chardonnay linger on many a mind and yet there is a whole revision within California itself.  A revision… a reformation— except for mass market Chardonnay where buttery-oaky is a given.  The reformation is to distance and move away from new oak… not necessarily oak entirely and others just using stainless steel–malolactic fermentation can be there or even partially so.  The stylization can be getting to the ‘heart of the matter’ as I like to say– a nuanced characteristic i.e. letting the fruit speak for itself.  And lets tackle the neutral discussion—and I do think it is an unfair assertion.  To believe that Chardonnay is neutral is to starting pining together other wine varieties that might be thought of the same way– and yet there is no mention of this neutralness of flavour in other varieties.

I do enjoy a sparkling with with a kiss of Chardonnay or a lot in the case of a Blanc de Blancs a lot.  I start almost every meal white and end red–the white wine portion can and does include Chardonnay on occasion— I like a very dry Chardonnay and I truly enjoy the nuances.  And I am certainly not in the neutral wine camp. I am enjoying a stainless steel or slight touch of oak from California, Oregon, Australia or Chablis.  I’ll talk about Chablis in another story– a very unique area: one grape–one region and true and un-meandering tradition.

And the reformation or a better said renaissance is here–winemakers are being more bold or just not feeling no need to apologize for producing Chardonnay.  So many wine producers are backed into a corner “why do you make a Chardonnay?” and if they don’t produce one “why don’t you produce one?”

Beauty and gorgeousness in the bottle is a legacy we have today not just in Chardonnay but in all wine varieties today.  These are amazing wine times to enjoy wine and relook, retouch and reconnect with Chardonnay once more.


James the Wine Guy

James the Wine Guy

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
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One Response to Chardonnay I do -James Melendez

  1. I really like the content on your site at http://jamesthewineguy.
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