10 Good Chardonnays at Fair Prices from 4 Countries from 10 Good Chardonnays at Fair Prices from 4 Countries

10 Good Chardonnays at Fair Prices from 4 Countries

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Chardonnay

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10 Good Chardonnays at Fair Prices from 4 Countries

Even though it may not be popular to say so, chardonnay remains the best, most versatile white wine grape in the world — and also one of the most widely planted, producing happily on six continents (it is one of the major grapes in the burgeoning Chinese wine industry, for instance). It is certainly capable of making some really ordinary wines — in chardonnay, as in so many things, you get what you pay for — but there are also a number of very nice chardonnays still available for around $20 a bottle or even less.

The 10 wines reviewed here range from five good, modestly priced white Burgundies from the noted négociant and producer Joseph Drouhin to a couple of excellent Spanish chardonnays from the esteemed Arínzano estate in Navarre — one of them very modestly priced and the other well worth its higher price.

Find a sunny spot and start pulling corks!

Joseph Drouhin Macon-Villages 2014

Joseph Drouhin Macon-Villages 2014 ($13.50)

Well-balanced with hints of tangy apple and good minerality. 

Glenelly Estate “Glass Collection” Stellenbosch Unoaked Chardonnay 2015

Glenelly Estate “Glass Collection” Stellenbosch Unoaked Chardonnay 2015 ($18)

This South African entry offers some creaminess to go along with lightly spiced apple flavors, and it’s fairly rich considering that it has no barrel treatment. 

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Véran 2014

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Véran 2014 ($19)

Halfway between full and lean, with good minerality; a versatile food wine. 

Arínzano “Hacienda de Arínzano” Chardonnay 2014

Arínzano “Hacienda de Arínzano” Chardonnay 2014 ($20)

Quite possibly the best Spanish chardonnay I have tasted: Very good structure and complexity with flavors of pears, vanilla, and vanilla cream leading to a crisp finish and a tangy note at the end. 

Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles 2014

Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles 2014 ($20)

Elegant with lots of floral notes, good complexity, metallic minerality, and light tannins. 

Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2014

Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2014 ($23)

Lots of white flowers, good fruit, medium body, and nice complexity — delicious and a good price. 

Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2013

Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2013 ($32)

Very nice, very rich chardonnay flavors of apple and buttery corn, medium body, good structure, and a good finish. 

Joseph Drouhin “Domaine Drouhin-Vaudon” Chablis Premier Cru 2014

Joseph Drouhin “Domaine Drouhin-Vaudon” Chablis Premier Cru 2014 ($40)

This wine needs some airing — decanting would be a good idea — to fully open up its complexities of ripe apple and savory wood flavors. 

Viansa “Signature Series” Carneros Chardonnay 2013

Viansa “Signature Series” Carneros Chardonnay 2013 ($45)

Rich,full and a tad sweetish with mellow apples, baking spices, and some toast. 

Arínzano Gran Vino Blanco 2010

Arínzano Gran Vino Blanco 2010 ($81)

A very complete older chard, which has aged quite well — rich yet with flavors of dried apples, spices, and minerals and some savory notes. 

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Chardonnay

10 Good Chardonnays at Fair Prices from 4 Countries