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

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

  1. The Domaine Vallette Macons and Pouilly-Fuisses, one of which was recommended warmly here the other day, used to be absolutely gargantuan. I wonder if one of those would fit the bill.
  2. So the guy from Field & Fawcett has been in touch to tell me they don't have 6 Wild Boy in stock and if there are any substitutes I'd like.....noticed they had Mac Forbes at a similar price, so I subbed a couple of those in.
    George Marshall likes this.
  3. Behave, Jeremy!!
  4. Just to resurrect this thread, we've drunk quite a lot of Chardonnay over the last couple of months, including several from this list. I thought others might find it useful if I post all the TNs on here - some are copied from other "weekend drinking" threads, others just from memory...

    2017 Felsina I Sistri Chardonnay - very young still with bags of appley fruit and sweet new oak but a good lick of acidity too. 2-3 years in the cellar for the wine to plump out and the oak to integrate and this will be bang on I reckon.

    2017 Mac Forbes Yarra Valley Chardonnay - Scorched toast spread with butter and lemon curd. Wonderful!

    2016 Pulenta Estate Mendoza Chardonnay - all tropical fruit and butterscotch. So well balanced and such good value.

    2016 Wolf Blass Gold Label Adelaide Hills Chardonnay - a slightly leaner style, not a lot of oak and more of the citrus minerality. Slightly reductive initially but this blew off to give some toasty notes. This is unbelievable value when on offer at supermarkets - it's a hell of a lot of wine for under £10.

    2013 Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay - I'd forgotten just how good this is - proper old skool fat Chard, basically apple crumble and custard in liquid form. Relatively low acidity and viscous mouthfeel.

    2017 ABC Santa Barbara County Chardonnay - good concentration with baked appley notes balanced by citrus. Oak subtle but reassuringly noticeable.

    2017 ABC Wild Boy Chardonnay - deliberately made to epitomise the old style butter/sweetcorn/vanilla/pineapple and it does it brilliantly. Thiswill really polarise people but I absolutely love it and is EXACTLY what I want from a Cali Chard.

    2018 ABC Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay - a definite step up from the regular bottling, the Los Alamos is much more concentrated with more new oak, yet also superbly balanced and in no way overblown.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  5. Have you drunk a Lindemans Bin 65 recently, Richard? I used to be rather keen back in the dark ages but I am told that it is not at all what it used to be.
  6. Not in the best part of 20 years, that was the original "oak chip tea bag" though wasn't it?? And pretty foul from what I remember (roughly at the turn of the millennium). If I see a single bottle I might buy it, just out of morbid curiosity.
  7. Lindemans Bin 65 was just awful stuff Tom far better to pay a couple of quid more and get the Rosemount Show Reserve - used to buy it in six packs from Asda: Seen neither for many many years.

    There’s been a lot of love for WB Gold Label Chardonnay on here - much of it from me.
    Possibly the successor to the Show Reserve in terms of style and accessibility, and when on offer the same price (or a tad cheaper) twenty years on.

    It is a bit variable imho - wonder what the production is - never better than good, sometimes very good - interesting you say it’s a touch leaner RichardI thought the last couple of bottles were a bit too but they were 2017.

    Drunk the Gold Label alongside quite a few £20-25 Aus Chards and it’s not been outclassed.

    The silver label often seen in Tesco a couple of quid off is no slouch either.
  8. I certainly enjoyed it in the early 90s, though I wasn't very wine conscious in those days. I don't think I've had it since. In view of the comments above I am not tempted to try again!
  9. I'd also like to re-try Montes Alpha Chardonnay, as that was one of the first wines that I used to think was seriously classy and a marked step up from what I normally drank. Intrigued to see how I'd rate it now.
  10. Does the TWS description makes sense to you Richard? I'd buy it based on yours, not on theirs!

    "This is a textural, mealy and citrus fruit-driven Australian chardonnay which has a complex aroma and sophisticated palate. Striking a nice balance between modern-style freshness and tension and classic-styled texture" (Light oak flavour)
  11. The "mealy" descriptor is presumably what I described as the scorched toast note, which I suppose could be interpreted as baked/toasted oats e.g. baking flapjacks.

    Citrus, yes definitely.

    As for "nice balance between modern-style freshness and tension and classic-styled texture" I assume this is just a twatty way of saying "a bit of new oak but not too much"!!
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  12. Spotted in Morrisons for £6 today, so picked one up in the interests of science:


    I'll approach in as open minded way as possible, and will feed it (blind) to Vicki.
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  13. Bin 65 used to be my go-to cooking wine.With its bold oak-chip flavours it worked remarkably well with packet leek soup, where I used one cup of wine to three cups of water. Then I'd toss in some mini-shrimps and get a restaurant grade soup. An aunt once called me the next day to ask for the "recipe".

    Richard, I await the results of your experiment. Are going to make Vicki sign a waiver?

    [Edited for typos}
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  14. It wouldn't help me if she had, she's Northern Irish so will kneecap me if it isn't up to scratch...
    Mahmoud Ali likes this.
  15. I'm pretty sure that it was £5 in the early nineties, so not too much inflation there.
  16. Richard,
    not sure if you had a chance to give it a go but the Catena Alta is currently on "special" at maj (whom I have no affiliation with). Might be worth a go at £18 as part of your continued research.....
    Richard Ward likes this.
  17. Glad to see that Wild Boy is still strutting its flamboyant stuff. Your note is exactly what we were trying to achieve when planning this wine nearly 25 years ago (first vintage 1996), as a deliberate contrast to the regular Au Bon Climat style. My contribution was the idea of the deliberately vulgar label, though I originally wanted the hair to come flying off the sides of the triangle - but impractical. If you don't know the label, here is an image borrowed from CellarTracker

    Wild Boy.jpg
  18. Looks like Joe the Lion King. Ahead of your time Jasper.
    Jasper Morris likes this.
  19. It's such a well made wine, both from a technical point of view (in that it achieves everything it aims to, yet retains balance) and also from a pure pleasure point of view, assuming you enjoy this style. In fact it epitomises the style I would say.

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