Three Californian Chardonnays + a Burgundian interloper


Tesco Finest Sonoma County Chardonnay 2006 (£9.99 Tesco)
Ripe and oaky, but not OTT in either respect, this has freshness and zing missing in virtually all similarly priced competitors, touches of pineapples and peaches, with mealy nuttiness and just the right amount of toasty oak. B+

Wild Boy Chardonnay 2008, Santa Barbara (£19 Latitude Wine, Berry Bros & Rudd)
Leaner but finer than the Tesco wine, with cool, fresh flavours of ripe green apples, pears and stone-fruit, subtle and very lightly oaked, tasty now but looking good for the next 2-3 years. S(-)

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2008, Santa Barbara (£20.50 The Vineking, Slurp.co.uk, Reid Wines, Berry Bros & Rudd)
More concentrated than the Wild Boy, but with a straighter spine. Similarly keen fruit flavours and subtle oak notes, but there’s more poise and minerality here. Very good, and with 5yrs+ of life ahead of it. S(+)

Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2007, Burgundy, France (£12.99–£14.99 Majestic Wine Warehouses; Ann et Vin, Newark; Flagship Wines, St Albans; Forth Wines, Scotland; Magnum Fine Wines, London; William Mason Fine Wines, Norwich; Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough; La Zouch, Ashby de la Zouch; The Southwell Vintner, Southwell)
Not in the same class as the previous 2 Californians, there’s a pleasant green apple note, but it’s let down by a slightly cheesy note, and lacks the concentration to back it up. B

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