Clos du Bois Chardonnay has been a long standing favorite white wine for many people, a reliable and consistently good wine that fits the reasons for drinking a dry white at a reasonable price point. The 2011 vintage carries on that tradition, varietal correctness, clear use of oak and easy to drink, yet, compared to my memories it comes up a bit short of previous years.
A light golden yellow in the glass moves into a nose of pear and spice. There is little tropical fruit in this vintage; instead it follows the nose with dominant pear and apple flavor that is covered over with some butterscotch and vanilla from aging in oak. Clos du Bois Chard typically has a nice weight in the mouth, with the sharp edges rounded off and a creamy note from some malolactic fermentation. The finish has a nice lengthy persistence that carries on past the clean line of acidity. A good, if not great stand alone wine, savoring on your palate brings out the different flavors that are easy to miss otherwise, however, for my taste this is a food wine.
Try it with a lemony cream sauce over pasta, roasted chicken with or without your favorite dry rub would match up well. A cheese with a soft texture and muted flavor would also be a good pairing for this wine, Brie, Camembert or Danish Havarti are a couple of suggestions from my table.
The 2011 Clos du Bois Chardonnay was recently on sale around town for $9 with a $1 off necker coupon for a very reasonable net price of $8 per bottle. That is a historically low price, well below the $10 and up price more commonly seen on our local shelves; look around for a deal, from my retail experience this is a wine that has a wide range of pricing on our local shelves. For those who are interested check out the video for a look at how Clos du Bois practices sustainable agriculture in their vineyards.
What did I find disappointing in this vintage compared to earlier versions? The wine I sampled was a bit muddled with the oak notes cover up the fruit instead of complementing like in previous years. However, for people who prefer what oak can provide that would be less of an issue and might actually be a strong point in favor of this vintage. Despite that perceived shortcoming the Clos du Bois Chardonnay should be considered as an accessible, consistent crowd favorite for your entertaining needs.