2016 Treasury Wine Estates emBrazen Chardonnay, California, Wine Review

emBrazen is a new line of wines honoring bold women who were trailblazers in their fields.  This one honors Celia Crus, salsa singer originally from Cuba.  Look her up.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose has slight grapefruit.  On the palate, this is easy.  Not a lot of acidity here.  Slight grapefruit.  This retails for $16 which is a fair price.  The label is sure to start a few discussion.  

2017 13th Street Chardonnay June's Vineyard, Niagara, Creek Shores, Wine Review

From the VQA next to Niagara.  This is very good.  Light silvery/gold in color.  The nose has lemons, melons and slightly woody note which is presumably from the stems (whole clusters were added).  The winemaker described the woodiness as nutty, but that was probably because he was trying to impress that this wine saw no oak.  In any event, the nose is very nice.  On the palate, the melons (mostly Honey Dew, but also some cantaloupe-ish notes) come to the foreground.  Also some lemons and minerals.  Good acidity.  This is clean and full bodied but has an energetic edge to it.  Some of that

2015 Henry of Pelham Chardonnay, Canada, Niagara, Wine Review

Green/gold in color.  The nose is dusty with vanilla and slight lumber and slight grapefruit.  A nice oily texture.  On the palate there is lemon and grapefruit notes.  It could use a bit more acidity to make it more food friendly.  A nice slight red apple note on the reasonably long finish.  There is a bit of a sweet note at the very end that is a bit sticky.  Probably should be drink in the next few years.  All said, though, this is really an excellent value for a $13 Chardonnay.  It is interesting and easy to drink at the same time.  You could certainly pay a lot more for a Chardonnay th

2016 Verget du Sud Vin de France Chardonnay, Wine Review

Verget is a very good producer in Burgundy.  They make some of the better values.  This is a lower level wine labeled under the Vin de France designation.  Deep golden in color.  The nose is more about minerals.  Also some lemon.  On the palate, this has a sweet tart quality to it.  Light tannins.  Light tannins.  Refreshing.  Verget is known for being a bit heavy handed with his use of oak.  None of that was an issue here.  This sells for around $10 a bottle is a really good value.  Great for a party or large crowd.  Food friendly.  Not a complex or amazing wine, but very solid and enjoyab

2013 Graham Beck Chardonnay The Game Reserve, South Africa, Coastal Region, Wine Review

This is probably a bit past its prime and was being closed out for $9 a bottle.  At that price, some people will love this wine.  The key is they have to like oak.  Medium to deep golden in color.  The nose has noticeable fresh cut lumber along with nice lemon cream and vanilla.  The palate matches the nose though the fruit is not as strong.  It seems slightly out of balance at this point and it seems doubtful there is enough fruit to outlast the oak.  The finish is a bit clipped.  At $9, this is a good value and at least one person drinking it with me proclaimed ho much he loved oak filled

NV Graham Beck Brut Pinot Noir Chardonnay, South Africa, Western Cape, Wine Review

Beck sparkling wines are some of the best values in sparkling wines. This retails for around $17 and is a quality dry sparkling wine.  Light golden in color.  Lots of small bubbles.  The nose is all about the minerals with a dusty quality as well.  Ever so very slightly sweet on the palate.  Minerals and lemon oil.  Would go with a wide variety of foods.  Has some depth and complexity.  Really enjoyable.  

2016 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County, USA, California, Wine Review

Light golden in color.  The nose is nice with lemon cream and some minerals.  A bit buttery and slightly oaky.  On the palate, this is nice acidity.  Lemon with cream.  Decent balance.  Works well with food.  Slight depth and complexity; probably won't get better.  Good drinking right now.  A nice compromise for those who like buttery/oaky and those who don't.  

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