The Wine: If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area like I do, this past week was a very nice introduction to spring. So you know what that means for wine drinkers, white wines will be on the table more often. This wine has its origins in the appellation of Rutherford. This is big time Napa Valley Cab country home to places like Beaulieu Vineyards (BV), but not so much known for its Chardonnay. So that fact alone lends some interest in this wine and what it potentially has to offer in ‘different’ category. When I searched the fictitious cellar name “Behind the Scene Wine”, the trail really goes cold because this wine comes from a grape broker who used a custom crush facility to create wine to place under some label, in this case, Trader Joes’. It’s kind of wild how pretty much anyone can find grapes for sale to make into wine or wine which needs a label. Here’s a link for example. But let’s get on to this wine…
Color: Light straw and hay.
Nose: A forwardness of apple with minerality lending itself towards metallic and rubber balloon notes. Yes, you read correct, rubber balloon. I made no notes of oak or vanilla, but this wine did see some barrel time.
Palate: Upon the first sip, you will immediately experience a short to medium crispness in this wine but gets taken over by an alcohol laden finish. I didn’t make any notes about particular fruits, but you can imagine the usual cast of apple characteristics and some toasty notes. Nothing really stands out about this wine.
Bottom Line: Next-Wine-Please/Give-A-Try
I don’t want to say this wine is bad, nor do I want to say it’s good; it’s a cookie cutter wine. It’s text book California Chardonnay, some apple, citrus and toasty notes combined with a pretty strong alcohol finish. I tasted this wine next to another Chardonnay which had higher alcohol, but it was made with much denser grape juice which resulted in much more depth and character in the wine. So I’m lead to believe this wine stems from a younger vineyard whose vines haven’t adjusted to their settings or are being produced for quantity over quality resulting in much less depth in the wine. At $10, I’m sure you could find a similar wine for $5-$7, or better for $10. But please share your thoughts on this wine with the community!
- Price: $10
- Cellar: Behind the Scene Wine
- Appellation: Rutherford (in Napa Valley)
- Alcohol: 14.3%