There are so many wines that I try that I find interesting and want to post about, but life and work and kids all get in the way. I usually try to commit a solid 4-5 paragraphs of background information as well as tasting notes to ensure that I can provide a little ‘color’ to where/why/how/what I am reviewing.
I still plan to do all of that, but for these ‘micro-reviews’, I am just going to focus on getting the key bits of information across about wines that I enjoy in my post-work stupor thru life. (kidding). (kinda).
2009 Joel Gott ‘Unoaked’ Chardonnay – Monterey
I think that Mr. Gott summarizes this wine perfectly on the back of his bottle: “Steely. Citrus. Bright Acidity.” This might seem like a man of few words, but this is a novel compared to what his wines usually say, which is simply: “Enjoy.” I’ve always respected that, given that I am certainly not a man of few words…
I can’t say that I know all that much about Joel Gott or his wines. One of his Cabernets was recommended to me 3-4 years back, and honestly, I wasn’t wow’d. I think that I liked the wine, but the QPR was too low for me (AKA too expensive). I do like his Zin though, and now I’m a big fan of this unoaked Chardonnay.
I’ve expressed my love for unoaked or ‘oak free’ Chardonnays in the past, and this is one that holds its own. It especially does so, b/c it was $9 at Costco (my other love).
I so love the screw top. There was a period of time where this was a sign of a cheap wine. NO MORE! I have had TOO MANY $50, $75, $100 bottles of wine that were UNDRINKABLE becuase of that stupid cork. There is so much wine which is corked (whether we know it or not), and the screw top avoids that completely. The cork companies cite 0.7 – 1.2% is coreked, but the Wine Spectator’s blind tasting of 2500 wines cited about 7%. I side with them.
Synthetic corks – now that’s a cheap ass bottle of wine – but screw tops are where it’s at.
‘Unoaked’ or ‘Oak Free’
The term ‘unoaked’ or ‘oak free’ refers to the fact that the wine has been fermented and aged in stainless steel, and not the traditional oak barrels. The barrels are what provide the oaky flavors in wine, and is a major, if not critical part in what makes a wine complete. However, there has been a shift in recent years towards an overly oaked Chardonnay – to the point where that is the primary flavor profile. These are interesting to taste, but personally are not for me. I prefer a crisper, sharper, more acidic flavor profile, along with some good viscosity and solid fruit.
This is why (especially in the summertime) I’ve shifted in recent years over towards a Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, and some Italian varietals like Verdicchio and Falenghina.
Alrighty – now for the details.
- It has the viscosity I like in a Chardonnay, but not TOO much. Cheap ones are watery, but this has a good backbone.
- There’s a nice complimentary acidity as well, which plays well with the solid fruit flavors.
- The fruit is citrusy, but not too ‘lemon’ in flavor. It actually leans a little orange.
- There is a nice, tart (b/c of aforementioned acid) green apple flavor to it.
- Added to that all is a good sense of minerality, which I’ve come to love in my whites.