2006 St. Clement Chardonnay

A Chardonnay With Big Kick

I picked up this wine on a visit to my favorite wine shop, K&L, because it was an “employee pick.” I don’t even know what that means really, I don’t know any of the employees—I mean at all, I don’t talk to anyone—but it had been a while since I’d had a real Napa chard, so I wanted to give it a shot.

Only when I pulled the bottle out of the fridge after its necessary cooldown on Super Bowl Sunday, did I notce the part of the label that reads “Alc. 14.9% by Vol.” Heyoooo!

Sure enough, this Chardonnay delivers that kick. The wine is light in the glass for a Chardonnay, in my opinion, and looks like a very light straw. On the nose are some big notes of oak and apple, but the alcohol sting is hard to get away from. It doesn’t quite overpower everything else, but it hits and hits hard.

On the palate, this Chardonnay delivers the telltale Napa oak, but there is an acidity (that probably actually comes from the high alcohol content) here as well. Notes of apple and pear mingle with oak to make for a rather bright, clean taste… once you get past the alcohol.

If you don’t mind your Chardonnays with a good dose of kick-in-the-pants, this one is worth checking out.

Verdict: 81/100

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