When big Napa Valley name-brand estate wines start getting close to the $10 level, it’s grounds for a double-take. One of those entering the value watch list this month is Franciscan’s Estate Chardonnay. That’s right, a well-known estate wine on the cheap.
Total Wine is now offering it for $10.99 at the Tempe store (and surely other locations as well). But what makes the $10.99 price stand out is that Fry’s has it at $17.99 and BevMo recently dropped it to $13.99. Such a deal @ TW!
Sure, Total Wine may be moving out their 2010’s to clear some shelf space for Franciscan’s recently released 2011 vintage, but it really doesn’t matter. Franciscan is so consistent year after year that there is very little to be gained from noting the differences from one vintage to another at this price level.
This consistency is no accident. Franciscan’s winemaker, Janet Myers, has been in charge of evolving Franciscan’s base of wines since 2005 and the pride shows. So why $10.99 for one of these babies? Must be market realities or something else. Regardless, time to snap ‘em up for Spring Break or whatever else is in the works.
You can be promised plenty of pear, melon, and a tad of honey on the bouquet followed by a body of crisp oak, and a long crème brûlée finish that is California Chard all the way. It’s perfect for anyone who demands a Chardonnay with appetizers and seafood (especially crab w/drawn butter).
Be sure to serve chilled after 40-60 minutes in the fridge. This one follows has the same “warm up morph” bouquet pattern as most better Chardonnays and changes in the glass in an interesting way. Plus for an outlay that’s close to $10, there are not many that can compare with this one.