2008 VINTJS Chardonnay

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2008 VINTJS ChardonnayPer Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “VINTJS Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay is a bright, crisp Chardonnay fermented in French oak casks. A touch of rich, vivid tropical fruit makes this wine a good partner to pasta with cream sauce or young cheeses like our Baby Swiss.”

What I Think:

I mentioned in my post about the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer that the new VINTJS offerings weren’t on my shopping list until I realized they were made by Bob Lindquist of Au Bon Climat and Qupe. So that solved the first problem. The second? Drumroll… It’s the grape. Many times over I have precluded my Chardonnay posts by reminding everyone that I am not a fan of the varietal. Once again I feel compelled to do so but won’t go deeper, if interested in more you can find the latest on my story here. When I open this one I immediately think that is the typical $20 California Chardonnay that everyone knows and loves, except for me apparently. Big oak jumps out on the nose. Once it blows off some nice apple and nectarine notes intermingle themselves. On the palate you are greeted with forward fruit, “bright” from the description above rings true. The mid-palate becomes creamy and this lasts through the end where it is met with a touch of acidity that adds crispness and creates a lasting finish that lingers on and on. Many people pay big $$ for this flavor profile. Gary Vee calls it “buttered popcorn Chard”. If that sounds like it is up your alley grab a bottle or two, guessing this could be a winner for you. As for me, my hunt for a Chard I agree with continues. That said, I’m looking forward to trying the Syrah.

Rating: 12th Bottle

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7 thoughts on “2008 VINTJS Chardonnay

  1. I like your blog and i might need some advice. i been trying a couple of the wines you have reviewed and i see u have an excellent touch. i need help choosing a champagne, wine for dinner and a dessert wine for a special italian dinner you think you could help? trader joes wine would be awesome

  2. In all honesty this chard was one of the most surprising values I’ve had at TJ’s in about a month.

    When I picked up the bottle and saw that is was made by mr. lindquist, i was like “nice!” Bob only sources from a handful of solid vineyards in the santa maria valley– so i knew the fruit would be excellent cool climate chardonnay. no doubt this bottling is his cast-away barrels.. the selections that didn’t make the cut for the $25-$50 stuff. and as everyone knows, the cast-aways… that’s where you find value.

    for $7 this wine was outstanding. I would definitely not put this wine into the “buttered popcorn chard” category. this is not Kendal Jackson. The style is lees-y (creme brulee, custard, full and rich mouth-feel), bright fresh fruit (apple, peach, citrus) and a lovely acid profile. Have no doubt this wine is much more sophisticated than $7.. sometimes its easy to write off chardonnay as “just any other one…” but i think this one was/is pretty special.

    If you were try this wine again I have a couple suggestions
    1. serve warmer than your expect… at 55-60 degrees (that’s about 40 minutes out of the refrigerator)
    2. decant the wine, if possible (the wine is young and probably hasn’t been in bottle much time)
    3. have it with food (an arugula salad with a simple citrus/olive-oil dressing would be really nice)

    Disclosure… I work in the wine industry.. but I had nothing to do with this project.

  3. Jason,
    Just been to TJ’s this a.m. and found Castle Rock – Cab, Zin, Merlot varieties for 5.99 and it says that it’s a one time purchase. Bought the Cab. & plan to try it next week. Wondering if you plan to try these 3 specially the Cab.


  4. Going back to Castle Rock – the Cab is 07 from Columbia valley and the Zin is 07 from Mendocino co. Didn’t get the origin of the Merlot. It’s the TJ’s near Concord Airport.

  5. Maybe this wine gets released in batches. The wine I had today is not “bright” and doesn’t have enough acidity to have an “acid profile.” It is pleasant, with a white fruit palate, but it is soft on the back end, like swallowing juice. Pleasant enough, but not anything that outperforms it’s price point. It’s a wine to sip on it’s own.

  6. Although more than $10 – my favorite Chardonnay that can be purchased at TJ’s is the Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay. At $16.99 this is a fabulous Chardonnay – oaky, full bodied, buttery. I am not a “crisp” chardonnay fan – this is the perfect buttery, creamy, oaky chardonnay for those who like that kind of thing! Have you tried it?

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