We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
Chardonnay…what do you say? Drink it on a sunny day? Maybe in the month of May? Okay! Alright, enough of that. All fun aside, who doesn’t love a well-made Chardonnay? This grape can be made into so many different styles of wine, and is grown in so many regions of the world. It is beloved by many, and considered overdone and overrated by some. Either way, a grape this diverse has got to be respected. Even though Napa Valley has pioneered its own take on what Chardonnay should be, let’s not forget about the old world. France, yes, the original home of Chardonnay. But what about Spain? A country known for crisp, clean, hot-weather driven whites. Why would they make heavy, buttery Chardonnay? Well, that is definitely not always the case. Let’s check out a stunner of a wine from Spain, shall we?
You may have read a previous review we did for Arínzano. They make some really amazing wines, and they have the honor of being the first Pago in northern Spain. This is a Spain’s most prestigious wine classification. This time, it is their award-winning Chardonnay they wanted us to check out. Jeff had the pleasure of tasting it in Houston at the 2017 Rodeo Uncorked recently, as it was presented by the Director of Winemaking and CEO, Manuel Louzada. Arínzano’s 2010 Gran Vino Blanco Chardonnay was a Grand Champion, Best in Show.
Now it was my turn to taste this lovely wine. I was excited to pull the cork and see what all the fuss was about. The wine pours into the glass a golden straw color. The nose is very lovely, and almost delicate. Notes of lemon, grapefruit, and a wonderful lees component tantalize the senses. The palate is driven by citrus fruits such as grapefruit, hearty lemon tart, and a tease of melon on the finish. The texture is smooth and creamy, but not at all buttery. The acidity is refreshing, and would obviously pair well with Spanish summer dishes. The wine finishes nicely, as it evaporates off the back of the tongue.
- Arínzano Gran Vino Blanco Chardonnay, 2010 vintage
- Winemaker: Manuel Louzada
- Appellation: Rioja, Navarra, Spain, D.O. Pago De Arínzano
- Grape varieties: 100% Chardonnay
- Barrels: 11 months in French oak. 50% new barrels, 50% second year barrels.
- Clarity/brightness: Clear/bright, with no detectable flaws, and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: Low
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Long
- Alcohol by volume: 13.5%
- Retail price: 60.00 Euros at the time of review.
My thoughts on this wine are very positive. The aromas and mouthfeel are extremely balanced, and you can taste the love that went into crafting this beautifully grown wine. It is quite refreshing to find an oaked Chardonnay that is not an absolute beast, or butter bomb on the palate. I find this Chardonnay to be pretty, but not at all wimpy. With the acidity as high as it is, there is no reason this bottle should not age for many years to come. It is only going to get better with age, my friends! Serve cool (not cold) with tapas, and great friends.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.