Monday, August 13, 2007

2005 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay

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.
14.5% alcohol
Score: 16/20
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.


Stacy Nelson said...

Hey Joe -

If a French Chardonnay was high on Oak perhaps they were trying to make an Americanized version for export... I just can't imagine my horror of tasting such a thing. I am not a big fan of big oak taste obviously, so when I do want to enjoy a good white, I reach for my dependable Chablis. You just shook me out of my comfort zone (lol).

Great review. Thanks!

Stacy Nelson,
The Original Wino

Joe said...

Hi Stacy - I have to say that the oak was the only 'Americanized' part of that Bruyeres, if you want to use that term, but it was all French otherwise! Like I have said before, I like judicious oak - even Chablis can be over oaked, but generally they are more reserved. Thanks for your comments - this Beringer really was a surprise for me!