Picket Fence is a winery now on the radar of many Trader Joe’s wine drinkers because of the Pinot Noir they produce. The Pinot received the #1 pick over at Jason’s Wine Blog followed by a lengthy discussion in the comments section. Jeff over at Viva La Wino also enjoyed this wine and gave it an A. I thought this was a nice wine and recommend it often. Personally, this is not my first choice of Pinot found at TJ’s, I found this wine too high in alcohol and oak; but this wine would pair excellent with a meat or red pasta sauce dinner. So I wondered, how’s their Chardonnay?
The Wine: And at $9 per cork, that’s a fair price, as opposed to the $20 price tag listed on Picket Fence‘s website. *Picket Fence has since closed it’s e-commerce store from when I first checked several months ago.* I’ve noticed this wine isn’t exactly clearing the shelf at TJ’s; maaaybe a case per week? A Russian River Chardonnay with a rather attractive label is one that could potentially be flying off the shelf. Picket Fence’s website says :”Bright Meyer lemon notes and crisp apple with hints of succulent stone fruit mingle with the toasted oak components of caramelized brown spices, resulting in a rich, sensuous wine that coats the mouth with a long, silky finish”. So what’s going on inside the bottle?
The Experience: You’re going to find a straw golden yellow color with a lot of oak and alcohol welcoming you on the nose. Before even tasting I had a feeling this was going to be an overly oak barrel driven chardonnay and indeed it was. The flavor profiles which showed themselves were first heat/spice from alcohol, oak then some apple and pineapple components. The alcohol is not very refreshing in the mouth and leaves the finish disjointed; 50% of the barrels were new French Oak with a medium toast, which really puts into context why there is too much oak and vanilla in this wine.
The Bottom Line: Next-Wine-Please
If I paid the original listed price of $20, I would be struggling to justify why that purchase was worth it. Even at $9 per cork, I’m left feeling I’m not getting great value out of this wine. I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish that bottle.
Question: What flavor component(s) do you like best in Chardonnay?
Wine Dork Info:
- Appellation: Russian River Valley
- Wine Maker: Don Van Staaveren
- Released: October 2009
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- pH: 3.42
- TA: 0.43 g/L