A Wine Lover’s Weekly Guide To $10 Wines – A Mass-Market Chardonnay Signed France

I won’t try to count how many Chardonnays I have reviewed including numerous French offerings. Today’s version comes from the high-volume Kressmann winery, which was founded in 1871. They are so big that their production facilities and offices encompass 7.5 hectares (that’s just about 20 acres), bigger than many producer’s vineyards. Kressmann’s vineyards stretch over 900 acres (365 hectares) in Bordeaux and 650 acres (260 hectares) in Languedoc. Their plant can fill 25 thousand bottles an hour. The companion wine is an Israeli Chardonnay costing more than five times as much.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Kressmann Selection Chardonnay 2011 12% alcohol about $8 Let’s start with the marketing materials.

“Tasting Note : Aromas of citrus, apple and pears. Well-balanced with a good finish. Serving Suggestion : Ideal as an aperitif or to complement grilled fish or roast chicken.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine tasted of apples and had slightly unpleasant acidity. When I nibbled on Japanese rice crackers the wine’s acidity was muted and I sensed some metal. In the presence of a dry, honey garlic barbecued chicken breast this liquid was wispy and not very present. I got pears. Dry General Tao barbecued chicken thighs brought lime to the forefront of my glass. A medley of sautéed red, yellow, and orange peppers continued the limeiness and the libation was relatively long. Commercial potato salad took away the fruit and didn’t leave much else in Chardy.

The next meal began with homemade vegetable soup flavored with caraway seeds. Our French friend responded with crisp acidity and some pears. Then came the centerpiece; homemade chicken breast nuggets in a medley of spices. Now the beverage was rather steely and gave hints of lemon. Quinoa softened its acidity. And fresh pineapple just muted this wine.

The final meal started with a potato appetizer in puff pastry. Whitey was appley and somewhat sweet. Then came boxed stuffed manicotti with ricotta and mozzarella cheese in tomato sauce to which I added lots of grated parmesan cheese. The wine was sweet and rather thin, and it’s acidity was raw. Fresh strawberries suceeded in taming the acidity. The other dessert was Praline filled bittersweet Swiss chocolate squares. Now the acidity was almost gone. All I got from my glass was a wisp of fruit.

Final verdict. They won’t need a huge bottling plant for me. I am usually no real fan of Chardonnay. This offering won’t make me change my mind.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine with the right foods and people. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com.

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