Unlike the clean, simple profile of the 14 Hands Chardonnay reviewed last week, http://www.examiner.com/article/14-hands-chardonnay-2012 the 2012 Michael David Chardonnay approaches your senses from the opposite direction. Made from 100% Napa Valley Chardonnay grapes which are certified as sustainable this wine is carefully crafted and shows off the hand of the winemaker in the bottle.
A golden yellow color in the glass precedes the bouquet of Red Delicious Apple, with a hint of pineapple, butterscotch and spice rising up to your nose. The flavor is very different, showing off a peach and mango body that fills your mouth with a touch of lemon down the middle of your tongue ending with the vanilla and persistent spice in the finish. A wine with weight, but not heavy and buttery the oak aging was used to impart interesting side notes to the dominant peach and mango fruit, while the use of malolactic fermentation provided a very pleasant roundness which was complemented by the acidity which served as both an ending point and a foil for food.
This wine would complement a lot of meal choices, from the traditional suggestion of a tropical salad with romaine lettuce accompanying pasta with white sauce, pork loin, fish or chicken entrees. You might even consider grilled chicken breast as the featured protein; the spice would pair nicely with a little char. Don’t neglect lighter fare either, a casual picnic meal on the 4th or any other holiday is a perfect time to uncork this Chardonnay, it went very well with our meal of Popeye’s regular fried chicken, slaw and biscuits. Alone or with a meal the weight and softness of the wine combined with the layer of fruit and effect of oak aging has resulted in an interesting wine that can be enjoyed with food, but also savored and appreciated on its own.
To be fair the idea of “budget” is in the eye of the consumer and many people balk at paying more than $10 for their wine, however, priced around $15 at Total Wine and More in Fort Myers the 2012 Michael David Chardonnay is definitely a value wine for the money. This is not a single note wine that can be quickly drunk and forgotten; this is a wine that accurately fits the Michael David tasting note description of “elegant” and deserves a place in your wine budget or at least a trial at your next hosted event.