Ignoring Lenn's advice to go naked, for the second time this month I found myself sipping a very oaky chardonnay.
Shiny gold in colour, the 2005 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay (Napa) had a powerful nose of oak and sulphur/petrol. Otherwise it was appealing but rather simple, with some white flowers, lemon and butter. On the palate this full-bodied Yankee Chard was hearty, luscious, good acidity, with buttery oak, followed by nice green apple and lemon flavours. I found myself wishing for a decanter, as this wine actually seemed to benefit from some air. While I enjoyed the wine, I was rather under-whelmed, especially given the steep price. But don't take my advice, as the experts loved it (now I know why it was so expensive). I suggest some additional cellar time.
Price: C$45 (SAQ)
PS - While it seems to be a common criticism that American Chardonnays use too much oak, I can safely say that the most over the top oak I have ever tasted was that French "Les Bruyeres" (from Jura) a few weeks back.