Alamos Chardonnay

Maker: Alamos, Tunuyán, Argentina

Place of origin: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2008

ABV: 13.5%

Appearance: Brassy gold.

Nose: oak, lemon zest, thyme.

On the palate: Medium bodied and medium sweet. Brown butter, clementine, white pepper.

Finish: A little tart but fades into pretty heavy oak. Not pleasant, but not unbearable.

Parting words: This wine was the result of another grocery store shelf dig.  I hadn’t had a chard for a while and I was looking for one with some good age on it from somewhere that wasn’t California or Burgundy and this wine fit the bill.

It’s not bad really. It’s overoaked in the standard New World style, but not by much. I can see this wine going well with fairly standard seafood or roast chicken dishes. On its own, it’s a good enough for a weeknight or a casual chat with friends. The price is a little high for this sort of thing ($13) but it’s not outrageous either. My only criticism is the finish. Maybe a little less oak would have taken some of the bitterness out of the finish. Anyway, Alamos 2008 Chardonnay is recommended.


5 thoughts on “Alamos Chardonnay

  1. Josh, this is a category that does not benefit from “some good age on it.” First off, Alamos is usually $9.99, and when fresh it drinks just fine for the category. Your notes are spot on, as the first thing that will drop off of a wine like this after a couple years will be the fruit. What’s left is a bunch of oak that has nothing to balance against. This type of wine should have been consumed a few years back.

    I always like checking the German Riesling sections in stores for wines with a bit of age. Americans don’t buy much German north of $10, so if you see an estate Riesling for $15 to $20 that’s been ignored on the shelf for a few years, it can be one of the best bargains around, as those wines can get better with some age. Same with Loire Valley whites, and sometimes Roussanne. Simple, oaky Chard, not so much.

    I do, however, like the idea of you dusty-hunting cheap Chardonnay.

    1. Good to see you commenting again! Excellent points all.

      I have had a lot of success with “dusty hunting” German Rieslings too. Gotten some fantastic wines that way.

      As for the Alamos, I feel a little like I got hosed. Aside from not shopping for wine at that grocery store again, can you recommend any good QPR chards in the $10-$25 range, or maybe a few things to look for? I am feeling a bit lost when it comes to Chard. I am on the verge of giving up but I hate to write off a whole grape (at least in that price range).

  2. Hello Josh. It’s always fun to check out your site.

    For Chardonnay, it all depends on your style, as the hand of the winemaker is what most Chard in this price point is all about. If you like a fat California style, creamy with sweet oak, Talbott does a solid job with it’s Kali-Hart and Logan bottlings. Both are under $25, and both punch above their price. (Same with Talbott Pinot Noir.) If you want something with nervier acidity and less oak, try Adelsheim out of Oregon. Both brands should be fairly easy to find, even in your controlled Mitten.

    And speaking of Argentine Chard, I do like Catena Chardonnay at all price points. I will warn you that they’re also the ones who make Alamos Chard(For Gallo under contract.).

    1. Thanks for the recs! I will pick up a couple of those soon. Not New World obviously, but few days ago I picked up a bottle of the 2011 Louis Latour Ardèche Chard. I haven’t opened it yet, but my wine monger recommended it as a “crisp summer white”. I’m not usually too keen on unoaked chards but I’ve never disliked anything he’s recommended so I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl.

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