EP 841 California Chardonnay Tasting

Gary has a confession to make- he’s starting to like oaky and buttery Chardonnays again. Today he tastes through 3 different wines in search of these flavors….

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Clos Blancheau James Berry ChardonnayPaso Robles Chardonnay
2007 Neyers Chardonnay El NovilleroNapa Chardonnay
2007 Newton Unfiltered ChardonnayNapa Chardonnay

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘that’s a girl I did years ago’

Everyone who’s ever had a glass of wine should watch this and realise that what you like one year you might not like the next

Tags: chardonnay, review, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Jay

    Gary, if you ever stop WLTV, you might drive wayno to dri… er stop drinking.

  • cellarrat5

    Thanks for the info. It Is a shame that distribution is not widely available elsewhere, but I understand how smaller wineries do not have nearly the same availability that others do especially in up and coming wine regions. Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals as is fast becoming quite popular in California if it has not already done so. The winery I work for makes a Tempranillo grown in Amador county, which is in the sierra foothills of CA, sounds like a similar climate to some of the Texas hills you spoke of. Hopefully I can find something from there if I hunt for it.

  • waynoooo daaaaa winoooo

    Yo Jay, If it wasn't for WLTV, I'd be SOBERERER than da POPE !!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

  • Gary,
    It takes a big man to admit his pallet has changed. However, if I see you admit you like White Zin., we are totally over!

  • stevekroll

    It was refreshing to see you admit that the California Chards are reigning you in again. For years I despised buttery, oaky Chardonnays, but have also recently found myself drifting toward the dark side. I can see how these wines could provoke a strong reaction – both positive and negative.

  • I also have been inclined to go for a oak/buttery Cali Chard. I have preferred non-oaked Chards, but hey – things change lol

  • A dumb Rhein king

    It will be a big day on WLTV when GV shakes hands with the butter bandit and the oak monster. If you would like to hang with those over-makeup'd girls, then that is your prerogative. We can still be buds, but don't expect me to hang out with them when you're not there 🙂

    QOTD1: I have not tried them.
    QOTD2: I haven't come back to something, but I have gone towards a taste that I did not like. Chardonnays, especially unoaked, tasted like the dirty dishwater I drank on a dare when I worked at DQ (think lemon dawn). For some reason I kept getting cravings for that taste, which I despised, but now I love them.

  • A dumb Rhein king

    Great, thanks. Now I'm going to bed with the Dire Straits stuck in my head.

  • automatedforextrading

    Hi Friends my name is Jimmy Anderson, It site give us really nice site for Californian testing. After read this story about it I Love this site very much.


  • skribbles

    QOTD: My palette has totally changed. I've been drawn to more lemony refreshing whites and bombastic reds. Haven't been in this wine state in years.

  • oklahomamichael

    Ok so I have had the Neyers on several occasions first time with this vintage(2007) was a few months ago. Drank the first half on the first night and didnt really like it that night. Came back to it for lunch the very next day and it was a clearly better wine. So both questions of the day in one shot…BAM

  • Oakmon’s BF

    Surely you remember http://theoakmonster.com/

  • Palettes change with the economy. Down economy = richer fuller taste, comfort foods (makes you feel better). Up economy = more exotics (edgier tastes, more daring). Kind of like when you gamble, when you're up you don't care and you bet the house on anything, but when you're down, you hold tight and go with the strategies you won't feel bad losing with.

  • Anonymous

    I think I read in here that he is Down Under(Aussy) and they are 6 months ahead of us. We could be waiting till August.

  • Anonymous

    What winery you working for? Sounds like they got a lot of good stuff.

  • Is this Part 2 of the April Fools gag – You want to be friends with the OAK MONSTER!!! I (Andy) like to get Frei Brothers Chard or KJ once in a while when we go out to the Brew Pub, but not usually at home or at a nice restaurant. We usually stick to Sav Blancs or Rieslings that pair better with the food. Hopefully you come back to your senses and see that oaky Chards are not as good of a food play as more balanced wines.

  • SourGrapesFC

    Gary, thanks for the transparency. It's important to see that, not only does everyone have an individual palette, but that palette changes over time (like the wines themselves). I appreciate that you were willing to make the point at the expense of contradicting your former self (just don't stop knocking the oak monster, that's too funny to give up on no matter how your taste changes).

    QOTD: This is beer rather than wine, but I've gone back to craving and devouring stouts recently after giving up on them years ago. Honestly, I'm glad that tastes come and go. When I'm bored with something, I can always move on and look forward to the day when it will be exciting again.

  • SourGrapesFC

    um… never mind.

  • Anonymous

    I did indeed forget! That’s awesome 🙂 Almost expect to hear him singing…”zippy a dee doo dah zippy a dee day”

  • Anonymous

    The name of the Winery is St. Amant, located in Lodi CA. We specialize in Mediterranean styles and do our best to keep our niche in the area, and most importantly make our wines taste as good as we can. As I said above we have Vineyards in Amador County and also source locally from Lodi, the unofficial Zin capital of the country. We make about 7 table wines depending on the vintage and 4 different Ports. We are fairly small, and therefore are not widely available throughout the country. However, we do have somewhat of a small fan club in Texas (very small) but no retailers out there only direct to consumer.

  • sammyg11

    I think we need another Scotch episode. The one you did with the Word Press guy was classic. Any chance of a sequel?

    p.s. I want this Scotch ep so bad, I stopped lurking just to ask.

  • MarcBelgium

    What a pitty your are falling for the Oak Monster!!!
    It's a shame for all those who make really great chards without chaeting.
    Let's hope for you it's just the time of the year: blossoms, nice girls, warmth, Spring, …..

  • John__J

    Wow, I take a month off & you joined forces with the oak monster!
    qotd: pinot gris. I almost always try to get wines I've never had before, especially ones that aren't among the “classic” varietals, and ones from regions I haven't thoroughly explored. But I'm getting tested on blind tastings in a few months with my somm classes so I've been drinking the regular's lately. Anyway I just had the 2005 Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Romanus pinot gris, and wow did I fall in love with pinot gris all over again. Probably the best pinot gris I've ever had that I got for under $20

  • Allan

    You're absolutely right!

    Bring on the Ardbeg, the Talisker, the Lagavulin and let's rock!

    Just stop lurking all together!!! and bring the commentsthunder!!!!!!!! ; )


  • Allan

    “She's my only true love
    She's all that i think of
    Look here in my wallet
    That's her
    She grew up on a farm, there
    There's a place on my arm where
    I've written her name next to mine
    You see i just can't
    Live without her
    And i'm her only boy
    And she grew up outside McHenry
    In Johnsburg Illinois…”

  • cellarrat5

    Welcome, an outstanding request to end your lurkerdom. GV should use his distributor connections and get some single malts you can?t get in the states. Or he could do a series, the Flora and Fauna series maybe? OR all one producer do a vertical tasting, the possibilities are endless!!

  • cellarrat5

    The Pete monster!! The Pete monster and I are tight. I think he would be more widely accepted by the general scotch community, but apparently the Oak monster is more popular than I thought.

  • Allan

    I like Tom Waits and i like Whiskey,.. George Dickle no. 12 i like as well. The Mottster is my favourite!!!! ; )

  • amsgpwarrior

    Will definitely check that Pinot out. I love their Petite Sirah, best damn petite sirah for the price no doubt. Thanks for the heads up, its hard finding decently priced Pinots these days.

  • castello

    Did you know there is a Mott, link it up t-shirt?! I put one in my cart. How many do you have? I think they'll deliver it overseas!

  • Allan

    Hoping hoping!

  • castello

    I'm very scared of the PETE MONSTER! I love me some scotch but some of the Talisker/Lagavulin/Lafroig smell like burnt ugly tires!

  • Timinspokane

    I checked out the empty bottle… it is a 2006 Bogle Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley. It was $10 at a local grocery store here and a really decent pinot, especially for the price. We also buy a fair amount of the Bogle Petite Syrah… not the most complex pet, but mighty tasty for the money!

  • Allan

    Sorry my friend…. i havn't got any. Tom Waits rules….. “There's a world going on underground…!!!!”””

  • NY Pete

    soooo …. where's some new thunder?

  • Allan

    Take me to the bridge……

  • cellarrat5

    I agree with the Lagavulin and Lafroig, but Talisker is not nearly as Pete Monster filled as the previous two. Try the 175th Annaversary Edition (the same one they tried on the last all Scotch ep) if you dont like that, I dont know what to tell you.

  • Allan

    Take me on to the bridge……

  • Allan

    Hit me now……!

  • cellarrat5

    Looks like clear weather again this afternoon, no thunder in the forecast for today. Perhaps a chance of showers with thunder tomorrow?? I won?t be far from a computer or my mobile brain washing device just in case…

  • castello

    God's away…….On BIDNESS!

  • CharlieTN

    Maybe he wasn't kidding about retirement…

  • NY Pete

    u guys have to seek and ye shall find …

  • jcrazy

    I had both the Neyers and the Newton at a tasting last year and really liked both. At the time I remember that the Newton was my favorite wine of the night. The Newton Cab is also pretty damn delicious.

    These days I've come back to whiskey sours. After a long day at work I like to have a good meal and watch some silly ass TV with me whiskey sour in hand

  • Victor

    Never had those 3 – again with Canadian availability…..2nd part to qotd – I am so new and inexperienced I am still trying to try all different varieties for the first time to bother coming back?… I haven't been everywhere yet…

  • ewb

    Good show Gary. Love the love for Chardonnay. How about a Viré-Clessé show. A little Mâcon battle royal action.

  • unclemeate

    AotD: I'm so far out, I will never make it back !!!

  • JayZee13

    Nice show. I still don't like the buttery, oaked Chardonnays, but then again, I haven't tried one in quite some time. I don't think I could go back, but I guess you never know until you try. I have had the Newton Unfiltered before, and I don't dislike it. It does have some nice nuances and good acidity which makes it better, for my palate, than a lot of Cali Chards. However, I still have a strong preference for unoaked Chardonnays.

  • sammyg11

    GV, the people want SCOTCH! Let's get a sotch ep!! You got real silly during that last ep.

  • Sofia

    Gary, best show ever! I feel the same way about palates changing through time.


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