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French vs. American Chardonnay-off




So I choose two Chardonnays that were at the same price point to compare. These wines ended up being a great contrast to each other. Technique and terrior have so much to do with wines and how they develop/taste. It's pretty crazy when you think about it! Also people that say they don't like Chards, I think they have had New World Chards with its love of manipulation in the winery, where-as, Old World Chards are more about the vineyard. Both have their place, it just depends on which one you are feeling for the day. So don't poo-poo a Chard when it's offered at your next dinner party....you might be pleasantly surprised!




Napa Cellars 2017 Chardonnay 14.1 ABV



Napa Cellars 2017 Chardonnay


The color is a harvest gold with legs that drip down the glass at a medium pace and form perfect barometers. The smell is vanilla, butterscotch, baked apple, crème brulee, lily, and brown sugar,

The taste is apple strudel with thick sweet bread, coconut, cinnamon, white pepper, and dried pear.


The mouthfeel is silky smooth and a little thicker feeling than the Novellum. There is 100% malolactic fermentation and the 8 month barrel finish that utilizes 24 % French new oak and 76% used French and American oak, which all translate into that mouthfeel.


Novellum 2018 Chardonnay 13 ABV

Novellum 2018 Chardonnay from S France



The color is bright gold like morning sunshine through a little fog.

The aromas are of fresh honey, apricot, pear, golden apple, small white flowers, and sea-salt air.

The taste is apricot, mandarin, little spice like cinnamon, and a golden apple finish.


There is more acidity on this wine and a small amount of fruit goes through malolactic fermentation (5%) keeping its brightness. The mouth feel is much lighter on this wine than the Napa Cellars, and I can feel the acidity in my cheeks, like I couldn't in the other wine.


The aging is split between aging on Viognier lees in stainless steel for 3 months (80%) and seasoned French oak (20%). This aging style transfers into the floral and honey/apricot notes (lees aging), as well the cinnamon or spice elements (French oak).


All in all these are great wines, and it depends on how you are feeling or what you are eating.


The Napa Cellars would go great with heavier foods like a mushroom risotto, Moussaka, or a creamy/buttery dish.


The Novellum would pair well with lighter fare of salads, BBQ tempeh, or even a rice dish with a little asian spice.