EP 932 California vs. French Chardonnay Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk tastes two Chardonnays head to head, including a California Chardonnay and a White Burgundy.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Kistler Les Noisetier ChardonnaySonoma Chardonnay
2008 Louis Carillon Chassagne MontrachetChassagne Montrachet

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


That was funny. Staking his whole career on getting these two wines correct, that’s our GV. Never in doubt

Tags: california, chardonnay, Chassagne Montrachet, France, review, Video, wine, wines

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  • NJ Big Chris

    Your Expression was EPIC….

  • NJ Big Chris

    QOTD.. Was really sick of Oaky chard’s for while and was on a big Burgundy kick. Starting to come full circle again back into them….

  • NJ Big Chris

    I would absolutely wear a Surprise face shirt…..

  • Cubatobaco (Ray)


  • Cubatobaco (Ray)

    I was laughing at your face before you said something! Classic!!!

    I will not lie, I did guess it with you, based on color alone. Glad you (we…sorry Goose) were right. I don’t think I could go with out at least seeing episode 1000.

    QOTD: Like you said, there is a time and a place for oaky/buttery Chards. I tend to lean toward more minerality, etc. Love Burg, but am also feeling Argentina Chard right now.

  • Cubatobaco (Ray)



  • Arnaud H

    Ha, priceless mug you got there for a quarter of a second!

    Chardonnay… Never been a huge fan of the super buttery yellow stuff. That doesn’t mean all California Chards are made that way – I tasted the Trefethen Chardonnay this morning, and in a blind I would probably mistake it for a white Burgundy.

  • Darlene O.

    Hey, Gary! Another great episode! I’m a Far Niente gal, so you can tell where my palate is!

  • flavasauce

    QOTD: Funnily I just wrote this review on K&L about the 2008 Alamos Chardonnay from Argentina made by Catena lady (who was awesome the other day BTW):
    On the pallate this wine is reminiscent of Barbara Streisand’s legs ie. It tastes like two sticks of buuutttah! While I love me some Babs I do not like this much oak in my chard. Oddly, I had this wine in Peru over the summer and I feel like it was much fresher tasting. perhaps they send the buttery barrels to the gringos as that’s what they think we like. 78 pts.

  • Don Simpson

    I got scared when I saw your reaction too!

    QOTD: Terrible and I completely dislike them.

  • Anonymous

    I got nervous too when I saw your face. You need to learn your lesson from that South African sauv blanc.

    QOTD: I don’t like them. In fact, I’m pretty sure no one does. I don’t know why they are made, or who buys them.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’ve been off the Big Oaky Chards for quite some time now. I think the last time I enjoyed one it was a Hanzell back in 2007. I’m all for the lean Chards from cooler climate areas!

  • flavasauce

    I agree with everything you said!

  • Retirement screen capture http://www.flickr.com/photos/drewclover/5082642870/

    Good thing you were right. We would be devastated if you did not hit 1,000!

  • SniffySmith

    The fact you were tasting “this morning” is awesome. Kudos to you!

  • SniffySmith

    It would need a really good caption though. Something like, “Parker scored this WHAT!?”. Just a thought

  • passion4wine

    haha .. that is ridiculous! Mott should have been ready to hit the “technical difficulties” screen shot!

  • GermanChemist

    Please Gary,

    don´t do that again! At least not before the magic 1000.
    QOTD: To be honest I just do not like Chardonnay. These days I am more into Viognier or Arneis trying to expand my palate. Talking about more costly whites I prefer Riesling over Chard… Also had some nice Austrian whites this sumer…


  • Anonymous

    The show lately has been GREAT. I’m a big fan of the blind shows, and the episodes last week with Josh Greene were fantastic.

  • Well I’m sad because I love Kistler and haven’t had one in long time, so I recently bought a bottle of the one you just tasted. Sh_t. I’ll probably like it just as well. Do like oak and butter with balance.. I love Ramey and find the oak and butter to be more subtle than say a Rombauer.
    Gary, you should try the 08 Far Niete.. atypical for this wine.. drinks like a burgundy. I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.

  • QOTD – While I don’t usually want to sit and drink several glasses of huge oaky chardonnay I have to admit there are times I really enjoy that style. Admittedly I don’t want it with food, or as a refreshing glass on a hot day but there is a place for it in my wine experiences. As an example I thought the Pahlmeyer 2008 Sonoma Coast chardonnay was really delicious.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed Pahlmeyer is great. Both in white as in red.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD. Couldn’t understand the question because of a jump in the video.

    Besides that, I enjoyed the episode. And guess, the Carillon is available in Belgium. Great.

  • it would have been more interesting if you bet the show on color…..

    How about for the 1000th episode, you bet the next 1000 on getting old red pre-1990 in brown bags right?

  • 2008 Kistler Les Noisetier Chardonnay – $55.98
    2008 Louis Carillon Chassagne Montrachet – $49.98
    Seeing Gary Face for a second realize he couldn’t tell the difference between French and California White Wine and was going to flame out – Priceless.
    For everything else – Wine Library TV Episode #933.

  • Stephan

    NO, don’t bet the show only on the color… the wine-world is changing! also because of great people like you and we need you to continue doing this! It was an easy one but still too risky 😉
    Good show, thanks
    s. x

  • Anonymous

    I have noted with amusement that 90+% of your fans will say they prefer the same style of wine that you do. Personally, I’d rather taste butter in my chard (in moderation, of course) than those pesky “snow peas.” Wood is used the world over for almost every style of wine; it is the winemaker who determines its degree of influence. Many have posted that they “don’t like oak at all – they only drink white Burgundy” and yet almost all white Burgundy sees some degree of new oak treatment (usually Allier), even Chablis. Again, it depends on the wine, the vintage, and the winemaker. Domaine Carillon typically uses 20% new oak for Grand and Premiers crus, 10% for village wines but this is not written in stone.
    BTW – Kistler produces, generally speaking, some of the most Burgundian-styled wines you can find from California, especially their highly-regarded and much sought after single-vineyard crus. They can easily age for 7-8 years (or more in some cases) in a cold cellar with the minerality becoming more apparent with the passage of time. In most cases the wine will integrate and absorb the wood component if allowed to age…show some patience, people!!!!!!!!
    “No more of this old wine – lets REALLY SPLURGE!!! Bring us the FRESHEST WINE you’ve got!!!”

  • LurkerKing

    @GaryV Thank you for the thunder this week. Looking forward to The Thank You Economy. On a separate note the lurker community is a big fan of Sasha V. He is a massive celebrity in lurkerville and we eagerly await his release of “what’s going on behind closed doors.”

  • Bob Murnane

    Not a fan of butter smell/flavor in wine (don’t even care for it in popcorn) so I’d have to say the steel fermented chards are what I tend to drink if I’m drinking chard at all.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I think that the buttery, creamy, smoky, aspects in wine are great as long as they are kept in moderation (which stands true for everything of course). I tend to move towards the old world style that has more of that smokiness integrated into the rest of the wine because it seems like California has gotten out of hand. However, I do see some trends that might suggest that it’s moving back to the more balanced style sometime in the next 5 years

  • Allan



  • LurkerKing

    Please join the latest lurker movement citizens against transparency supporters or C.A.T.S 🙂

  • Anonymous

    GV – Classic face, almost had a ruptured appendix, thought it was going to be the final WLTV!

    QOTD: Not a huge fane of the big, buttery, smokey chards! Comes across too typical for me!

  • scottEJ

    Whoa…nice smackdown of the every popular giant giant Kistler. Wouldn’t mind seeing a up-standing Cali cab v. a decent Right Banker.

    QOTD: They have their time and place. I do crave them every once in a while sans the oak. Butter – no problem. Oak – pazzzzz. I’ve been following the South African and Chilean chards as of late and have not been too disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    Qotd: I like both equally. My girlfriend on the other hand is smack her in the face with a big bag of buttered popcorn kind of girl. Though lately she is enjoying a few more Burgundy whites. There is a time and a place for both I really enjoy a grilled fish with just lemon and herbs with a burgundy. Typically fish with a cream sauce with california. I did have a nice Napa Valley Chard with great balance and not an oak monster if you can find it. Hendry Napa Valley Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2005

  • Allan

    How about doing a serious Head to Head brown bag show, w. Rhone valley vs. Australia. ?

  • Oakmon’s BF

    Wow Gary, I never would have believed how dramatically your face changed if I hadn?t gone through frame by frame.


  • Anonymous

    Gary – Even though it’s fun, how about if you don’t bet the future on the show. Too many of us love what you are doing and would greatly miss the show. How about do something like, give Mott an extra day off if your wrong. Or give each employee a $20 bill or make a donation in the name of Wine Library to “XXX” organization. Or buy each employee a lottery ticket. Or offer us a free wristband. Just off the cuff, ideas.

    Enjoy the head to head shows. Great topics. Your doing great!

    QTD – I’m still a new world fan, so I’ll sway to the oakier side. Plus, Burgundy pricing has kept me away from their wines. $50 for a chardonnay seems a bit too high for my tastes, especially when I feel I could acquire some great CA chards. for something in the $30’s. Now, as far as the oak treatment, I’m not sure I would go to the extreme style, however I have no problem with it properly integrated into the wine (say, 6-7 on the oak scale of 1-10).

    Absolutely lovin’ the shows lately!

  • Coeurdelion

    I could tell from the color which was American via my 17″ monitor. Don’t that was a hard one.
    Interesting in the litany of CA Chards GV mentioned Chalk Hill, Far Niente, Ramey etc. but did not say an obvious contender to that space Kistler!

  • Jon

    Where do you sit when it comes to CA chardonnay in general? any producers style that you really like?

  • santabarbara

    Love it. It’s priceless. Thank god WLTV will go on…

  • philoxera

    Why does it say “Lijit” and not “Ejit” on yer shirt?

  • Anonymous

    I was worried for a second there lol. I thought as soon as you made that bet you would have to eat your words, but I was wrong to have doubted you.
    Qotd: I don’t like that style just because it can be overdone. And me not being a big fan of that style I just can’t stand that. Where as if a wine goes the other direction of being extremely dry, or tart, or anything the opposite of buttery and/or sweet and/or fake fruity in that over the top fashion I can at least stand it even if it isn’t my favorite. But that being said if its being well done I actually like it. One of my favorite pinot noirs right now is toasted head pinot noir 2007, which has a definite toasted wood type element that accentuates the concentrated red fruit flavor beautifully.

  • Anonymous


    A couple of producers that I’ve come across that I’ve liked are Mount Eden Vineyards, Cupcake is a good inexpensive Chard, although to be a bit of a hypocrit, I also really like the Ridge Santa Cruz Chard. I guess as a response to be previous comment I find more consistancy in style from other regions in the world. I’m a bit fan of the Aussie Chards, and then also the old world stuff from Burgundy!

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I can appreciate the oaky/buttery California style, but I prefer it toned down a bit, like with Stuhlmuller…I had a $50 chard once, L’Angevin, that was, exactly as you said, movie theater buttered popcorn. Down to the finish. I was afraid I got some stuck between my teeth.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I do not like oaky/buttery Chards at all. I steer away from almost all Chards because of it. Luckily when I wine taste I can ask, and have found good stainless steel Chardonnay’s, but they are hard to come by otherwise.

  • i guess i just dont like chardonnay enough. i did have a $20 bottle of 09 St Nicolas Les Clous Fiefs Vendeens that i really enjoyed. but being the poor bastard that i am, if i had a 50 in my pocket i would go for something other than chard.

  • Carlo

    Call me easy…I like both styles.

  • nice !!! Great gif my frend
    love it
    qotd- i am more towards less wood and butter

  • Anonymous

    Nice face Gary you did look alittle worried there for a sec.
    QOTD: Its though because some days I m really into the butter oak taste and other days not it all. I geuss it all depends on the mood I m in.


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