Recommend me an old style fat, oaky Chardonnay please...

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Richard Ward, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. The title kind of says it all really - I really like the 90's/early 00's Cali/Aussie style of Chardonnay with loads of fat, buttery oak, pineapple and sweetcorn. Sadly there has been such a swing away from this to more restrained and elegant styles, it is increasingly hard to find.

    Can anyone recommend anything still made in this style?? Ideally up to about £30 per bottle, but if it's a little more that's fine. I was thinking the ABC "Wild Boy" from Santa Barbara as a starting point.

    Doesn't matter where it's from geographically.
     
    Leon Marks and Michael Ives like this.
  2. Someone I follow on Instagram was extolling the virtues of Rombauer Chardonnay which sounded as though it was precisely what you're after!
     
  3. The two Au Bon Climat Chardonnays I got in the TWS mixed case last year were both sweet and oaky - 2014 Bien Nacido and 2016 Los Alamos, the latter overwhelmingly so.
     
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  4. Never heard of that - where's it from??
     
  5. Sounds ideal!
     
  6. Napa, and often referred to as 'cougar juice'.
     
  7. Au Bon Climat have generally tried to make more restrained chardonnays than the old Californian stereotype, except for one cuvee that Jim Clendenen specifically makes in that style, just to show that he can. I think it's the Nuits Blanches au Bouge bottling. I remember mentioning this once before and Jasper (who imported ABC at Morris & Verdin) chipped in with some useful information. I had the Nuits Blanches cuvee once and it was excellent.
     
  8. The Varner Bee Block Chardonnay 2010 that we drank earlier this week headed towards the style you seek, Richard, but it cost £35 a few years ago, so it would be more now, and frankly wasn't worth the money.
     
  9. ABC do a vast range of different Chards, it's difficult to find much information on which ones are made in which style.

    Sadly the Los Alamos mentioned above is currently not available in the UK, and the Rombauer is over £60 per bottle. The Varner Bee Block is £190/6ib on BBX, with a big of age on too, which would be fine but if you're telling me it isn't worth it then I will steer clear.
     
  10. One of my favourite styles Richard and getting very difficult to find. I've had Au Bon Climats and Saintsburys getting somewhere near, but Australia seems to have gone the way of the dog,
     
  11. Richard, maybe try the Ramey wines from Napa as well.
     
  12. I'm with you here. Montes Alpha chardonnay from Chile used to be good for this at a lower price point. However I haven't had one for a year or so.
     
  13. Saintsbury is a decent shout - I used to really like that but haven't had it in ages. Just messaged my Majestic friend to see if he's got any in stock.

    Ramey I'm familiar with and seem to recall drinking it before, but I cannot remember it.
     
    Rob Lockwood likes this.
  14. I used to love that wine!! Drank gallons of it through the 00's, would love to try it again, even if just for old times sake.
     
  15. Lindemans Bin 65 used to do that job pretty well but I gather that it's a shadow of its former self.
     
  16. It's interesting that there seems to be quite a lot of love for this style of wine. I must say that once in a while it's exactly what I fancy - usually with roast chicken or similar - but these occasions are fairly rare.
     
    Leon Marks likes this.
  17. Try a Mac Forbes Chardonnay - I picked up a load of bin ends from TWS, decent amount of oak, not too overwhelming. Sadly way out of budget now but Ridge Chardonnay is exemplar of this style.
     
  18. Ridge.... still an undrinkable oak bomb....
     
  19. Each to their own Mark
     
    Nigel Palesford likes this.
  20. Agreed... I love their reds.... and keep going back to the white, in the hope of enjoying it more, always the same result!

    On the other hand I rather enjoy ABC whites, as our American cousins would say go figure’
     
  21. Agreed. I almost posted Ridge myself but as it’s more than double the OP’s target price I didn’t bother!
     
  22. I second the “cougar juice”. One of my favourite guilty pleasures - often served at work events and I always enjoy it.

    amusingly the parish priest of a dear (American) friend is a big fan, and my friend always keeps a bottle in for when he comes round. I shared my hypothesis on why he might have developed a taste for such things...
     
    Bobby Chandra likes this.
  23. Planeta used to do this style very well. Not sure what it’s like these days though.
     
  24. North of £50 though, in some cases nudging three figures, but they are very oaky.

    I’ve just remembered the wine I’ve had a couple of times in the past year or two that imo fits the bill.

    Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay (Sub £30), closest match to the old school Oz Chards in my book - I think the Yank Chards have a more pinched smoky-sweet oak influence and are sweeter in general.

    This one is big buttery round full and generous - I like it as an occasional throwback.:)

    Believe it’s reasonably widely distributed.
     
    Richard Ward likes this.

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