Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

The good, the bad and… the ugly truth

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Chardonnay 2011, Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap ($35.00, 00747444)
100% Chardonnay. A blend of estate-grown and purchased grapes. Hand-picked and whole cluster-pressed. A quarter of the wine was fermented in new French oak, a quarter in stainless steel and the rest in used oak. Malolactic fermentation was prevented. Matured six months on the lees with weekly stirring. 13.5% ABV per SAQ.com, 14.1% per the label.
A pretty promising nose, especially for a CalChard: citrus, pear, understated peach, stones, subtle oak, a whiff of alcohol. A let-down in the mouth. The good: middleweight; clean fruit, mostly grapefruit and green apple, with the expected tropical mix only hinted at; it’s not devoid of acidity; there are actually some minerals albeit vaguely metallic ones; the oak is a minor player; it’s butter-free. The bad: lacks precision; the minerals and acidity don’t coalesce into a structure, so the wine’s a little flabby; an odd bitter note lingers; the alcohol flares lightly on the finish. In short, a wine that’s less than the sum of its parts. It’s not terrible – certainly far more drinkable than some of the butter bomb Chards coming out of the Golden State – but, if you’re like me, you won’t be keen to have a second glass. The ugly truth: hard to justify when $35 gets you an all-singing, all-dancing white Burg. (Buy again? No.)

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Written by carswell

July 13, 2013 at 11:17

Posted in Tasting notes

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  1. […] À l’autre opposé du spectre, on retrouve les notes sur le blogue Brett Happens, qui présente les résultats d’un groupe de dégustation à Montréal, le Mo’ Wine Group. Les notes sont concises, précises et contiennent toujours un petit aperçu sur le producteur et la manière dont est fait le vin et, finalement, un conclusion claire à savoir si le vin mérite d’être racheté. La note de dégustation fait pâlir le commentaire qu’on trouve sur le site de la SAQ (et la majorité des autres notes de dégustation…), surtout lorsqu’on compare pour le même vin, par exemple pour le Stags’ Leap Chardonnay 2011 (la SAQ ici, dans l’onglet Infos Dégustation, Brett Happens ici). […]


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