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T. R. Oglodyte
07-11-2010, 01:37 AM
I suppose I've become an "anything but chardonnay" kind of person. I really don't like that tag, because it's a bit simplistic. It's not that I don't like chardonnay; but rather that I'm sated with wines whose signature seems to be to blast and overpower you. It's not just chardonnays; I include merlots and syrahs, and even cabs and pinots that try to knock your socks off on that first mouthful and then fall flat. Perhaps belatedly, I've now come to appreciate winemakers who exercise restraint and value subtlety and balance. When I'm at TJs I now find myself drawn more to the Spanish and Italian sections, simply because I perceive my chances of finding simple wines, well done and well-balanced, seem to be greater there than in the domestic collections.

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So that's a bit of an intro, I guess.

Grilled some salmon tonight, and opened a bottle of a Simonassi chardonnay, which is an Argentinian chardonnay that I picked up recently from WTSO. (It was an accidental purchase, but that's a sidebar story.) This is an inexpensive buy; it was about $8/bottle, with free delivery.

This is an unoaked chardonnay, with no malolactic fermentation (i.e., not "buttery"). If you like buttery chardonnay this is NOT the wine for you. It was crisp, sharp, acidic, and fruity. It was still clearly chardonnay, but it wasn't like it was slapping me in the face, saying, "Hey! I'm a Caifornia chardonnay. F**k you if that's a problem."

For $8/bottle I don't expect a lot of complexity, and this bottle certainly didn't surprise. I didn't find myself sippling slowly, appreciating the waves of flavors crossing my palate, nor the long finish.

But I did find myself thinking that this was a hell of a lot more enjoyable than many more expensive butter bomb chardonnays that I've had over the last ten to twenty years.

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And it left me wondering why the hell do I need to get an Argentinian wine to find an under $10 chardonnay that simply reflects the juice and isn't ome winemaker's attempt to make a personal statement about oaking, fermentation, blending, and blah blah.

chriskre
07-11-2010, 09:46 AM
If you find yourself in Miami, wander into the local supermarket to find lots of great finds in wine from many of the Latin countries and they are all bargains.

This city seems to carry a huge selection of good cheap stuff.

I can't tell you the finer details of the wines, all I know is that I'm always trying new stuff and most of it is pretty good and pretty cheap too. :D

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