Paula’s Wines of the Week – 8th November 2022

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 8th November 2022

More Top Ten Buttery Tasting Chardonnays

You just love your buttery tasting Chardonnays! Popular demand has meant that you wanted even more buttery tasting Chardonnay recommendations. And I can understand why. Those lovely buttery flavours resulting from ageing in oak barrels, or undergoing a strange wine making process called malolactic fermentation, make the wine smooth and easy drinking when the Chardonnay is taken straight from the fridge.

When the wine grapes are grown in warmer climates it means the resulting wine has a greater buttery flavour. So hot grape-growing regions like California in the USA, South Africa and Australia can all produce extremely buttery tasting Chardonnays with that richness we are looking for.

Lees ageing is another method that can add flavour to Chardonnay. Lees are the layer of dead yeast cells that result from the grape juice fermenting. Leaving the wine on these lees adds body and creamy flavours. This process is known as “sur lie” in France and can often be seen added to bottle labels where the wine has gone through this.

So now you’ve found all those creamy flavours in the wine, what food do you match with it? Creamier Chardonnays are best matched to foods with richer sauces – why not try matching to chicken in a cheesy sauce or pasta Carbonara.

But which Chardonnays have these buttery flavours?

Wines recommended by

Asda Extra Special Chardonnay
£6.00 Asda
Rich woody and vanilla flavours but with an apple sharpness underneath which stops it being too sickly. Aromas of grilled pineapple and melon is a reminder of upside-down pudding made with pineapple rings and a sponge base.

Jam Shed Chardonnay 2020
£6 Asda, Morrisons, £7 Tesco, Sainsbury’s, £7.99 Majestic
The name gives a clue to what this wine is all about – being jammy and sweet. But surprisingly not so sweet that it becomes sickly. There is some creamy peach and subtle butter flavours that have a balance of light lemon.

Tesco Finest New Zealand Chardonnay
£9 Tesco
Light lemon and buttery apple flavours. A delicately flavoured wine with an oaky edge. Classy.

Petaluma White Label Chardonnay 2020
£15.99 Waitrose, £16 Tesco
A balanced and tasty Australian Chardonnay that commands high prices – but why the terribly cheap looking label which makes it look like it should retail at £5.99 not £15? Inside the bottle you’ll find buttery apple flavours matched with white currant sharpness that ends with raisin and milky coffee sweetness. There’s quite a bit going on so let this wine evolve in the glass and don’t glug too quickly.

The Signal Post Chardonnay
£7.25 Co-op (often on offer at £5.25)
Simple and enjoyable flavours of vanilla ice cream with honey and lemon.

Stellenbosch Drive Fairtrade Chardonnay 2019
£6.75 Co-op
Subtler in flavour than older-style South African Chardonnays with some oakiness but there’s also fruity lychee and banana too.

Eagle’s Pass Chardonnay 2020
£5.50 Co-op
There’s plenty of oaky flavour in this South African Chardonnay with the oak vanilla yoghurt flavour dominating. There’s also some banana and apple with a bit of pineapple and melon. Light but fruity.

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Californian Vineyards Chardonnay 250ml can
£6.99 VinCanCan
Finding an oaked Chardonnay in a can is quite unusual as the canning process makes this type of wine difficult to store within the aluminium shell. The wine is a perfectly pleasant lightly oaked Chardonnay with apple and Cheshire cheese flavours. Expensive but in a handy size for taking on picnics.

Pacific Mountain Chardonnay 2019
£7 Co-op
This Californian Chardonnay is made in the older American style with a good dose of woody vanilla flavours. It adds a vanilla ice cream taste to the apple and pear pie main flavour. The latest vintage has lost the steam train image on the label which is a shame as now it looks like all other wines.

La Crema Chardonnay 2015
£22.95 Fareham Wine Cellar, £24 Noble Green Wines
This is a buttery tasting oaky Chardonnay from Monterey in the USA. It’s not as overly oaked as American Chardonnays used to be – this wine is about right with simple smooth butter apple flavours.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2022