A certain satisfaction always accompanies declaring a Screaming Good Deal – defined as a wine with below $10 price point and above $10 quality. In the case of The Show Chardonnay 2012, satisfaction is clearly warranted.
Similar to many other wines at affordable price points, The Show Chardonnay is a wine produced by winemakers and business people using purchased grapes, rather than by a winery on an estate using exclusively estate grown grapes. While the estate grown and produced wines may produce consistently high quality wines vintage after vintage, the less expensive production method of simply buying grapes and making wine has potential to yield high quality wines at low prices IF the vintage is especially good. In my opinion, California’s high quality AND high quantity 2012 vintage, during which many grape growers complained only about not having enough space to store all their harvested grapes, will afford us consumers great value opportunities in some lower priced wines.
The Show Chardonnay 2012 at $7.99 is exactly this scenario. Created from a blend of 100% chardonnay grapes from California’s Sonoma and Monterrey regions, and aged in French oak, this California Chardonnay may lack the prestige of a big name estate or region, but the successful 2012 vintage delivers moderate apple and pear aromas followed by flavorful hints of citrus, pineapple, pear and baked apple. Although oak was used, there is mercifully little of the heavy oak flavors that trademark many California Chards. Instead, the oak/vanilla hints are balanced with the overall soft acidity and fruit flavors. The Show’s weight and flavors are clearly Californian, but with alcohol measured at a comparatively low 13.6%, this Chardonnay isn’t too heavy or thick to encourage more and more sips on a warm summer evening or with a rich fish like Salmon or Arctic Char. At this price, buying enough to last the rest of the summer is worthwhile! (PLCB Code 33338 The Show Chardonnay 2012 750 ML $7.99 – available in PLCB Specialty Stores)