2009 Winnefred Chardonnay

2009 Winnefred ChardonnayPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “Winnefred is 100% Chardonnay aged in 82% French oak and 18% sur-lie (on lees), giving it added complexity and creaminess. It’s a citrus-forward wine with pear, lemon and a hint of fennel. Winnefred, like Winnefred, makes an excellent dinner companion. Try it with chicken or whatever suits your fancy.”

What I Think:

As mentioned recently I can identify the new offerings of the Central Coast Wine Services team before picking them up. This one was a no doubter with a fanciful label and story (Winnefred is a competitive pizza eating champion) to boot. Given their track record I had to give it a try despite my disposition to Chardonnay as a varietal. Would I live to regret it?

In a word no, there was nothing to regret. Literally nothing. This was one of the most flavorless wines I’ve had. The nose was muted with a bit of pear and peach coming through. The palate was oily with thin lemon flavors leading to a short toasty finish with cinnamon spice. It isn’t that this wine was undrinkable it was just soulless. If you have to have a Chardonnay in this price range I’d stick to the Santa Barbara Landing. How about you? What is your favorite value Chardonnay?

Rating: Skip It

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17 thoughts on “2009 Winnefred Chardonnay

  1. Did not even finish the bottle. It tried to be to much at once: minerality, leeche/stone fruit with some oak. Very disjointed for my palate.

    Also tried the Emergence lable from CCWW. The white was ok, maybe 7/10,but the red was another pour down the drain.

  2. I had similar impressions, Jason. Had to give it a try because of CCWW’s track record but don’t think I’ll buy again. I’ve been looking for the Emergence white but haven’t seen it in my area-I noticed Cab Franco Files gave it a good review.

  3. When the manager saw my wife grab bottle of Winnifred from the large end-cap display, he walked over and apologized for how disappointed he was in the wine. He told her to skip it and pick up the CCWW Emergence, instead, which she enjoyed.

    Emergence is a blend, though, not a Chardonnay. We really haven’t found a decent Chardonnay at TJs these days. The Chalk Hill is nice, but not $13 nice.

    Budget Chardonnays remain elusive.

  4. Andy, the 2009 Emergence from Paso Robles looks good on paper: 33% Grenache Blanc, 29% Marsanne, 25 % Viognier and 13 % Roussane. However it’s a bland, lifeless white wine that I recommend be skipped.

  5. @Jason, In reply to your question, my favorite chardonnay value presently is the 2008 Query Central Coast for $7.50 at BevMo.

  6. If you liked the white Emergence, try the Red. It’s also $6.99 a bottle. Its a light but yet good wine with lots of flavor. I picked as wine of the week in my store for last week.

    • @JB True; the red Emergence is much better than the white. I can detect the label’s hints of “black licorice” and “Creme de Cassis,” but the traces of “Lapsang Souchong tea” are lost on me. Nonetheless, I really like its blend of 48% Syrah, 29% Mourvedre, and 23% Grenache.

  7. @punchcutter I guess I am actually sorry you had the same experience, for both of us! On the Emergence Red I cracked it last night and wasn’t overly impressed but wasn’t about to pour it down the drain either. I’ve heard good and bad (see Danny above) about the white. I’m a sucker for blends so it may be hard for me to avoid if it ever shows up here in the bay area.

    @joshiemac Again sorry you had the same impressions. I wish at least someone would have liked this one. Have you seen the Emergence White anywhere? I haven’t yet come across it…

    @PeterB this site could use some sound effects couldn’t it?

    @Andy Now if that isn’t the most damning story I’ve heard I’m not sure what is. Glad to hear that both the Emergence Red and Whites seem to be a hit in your household. As for Chardonnay you know I don’t like most and the Chalk Hill was no exception (wife definitely preferred the La Crema blind). As for bargains I’ll be of little help tracking them down unless by accident by Danny does offer a suggestion above.

    @Danny Bummer on the Emergence White, had heard all good things until then. As it hasn’t made it up north I won’t have to decide whether to avoid it or not for the time being. I let my wife, the Chard shopper in our family, know about the Query. If she brings some home I’ll let you know her take (and of course mine too!). Thanks as always for the tip!

    @JB I’m on the fence on the Emergence Red. I wouldn’t tell anyone not to buy it if their original inclination was to do so but my guess is I’ll stick to the Perrin Rhone offering.

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    • @Vivian: So did you think of the wine?
      (BTW, Posting “commercials” isn’t really appreciated by most of us)

  9. Still like the Charles Shaw International Chardonnay (I think it’s the same wine as Downunder by Crane Lake). I’ve noticed there’s now an International Cabernet, and I’d love to hear Jason’s thoughts on that one.

  10. As an additional response to Jason’s query regarding favorite value chardonnays, I’m also finding very pleasing the Arroyo Seco (Central Coast) 2009 Muirwood Chardonnay [ $5.99 at Total Wine after using a $2.00 coupon] and the California 2008 Bogle Chardonnay [$8.99 at just about every wine retailer and grocery store in Southern California]. Both wines are pleasantly oaky with many surprising notes of refinement. Good hunting

    • I can hardly believe it, but the Oak Grove California Chardonnay, 2009 Reserve at an everyday price of $5.99 at Total Wine is an extremely good value, IMHO. In a blind tasting, I preferred it over one of my one of my previously favorite value chardonnays from earlier this summer, the 2009 Muirwood from Arroyo Seco (which has drifted up in price to $8,99 at Total Wine–but you can still use a store coupon to knock $2 off the price). Alas, where are the tasty value chardonnays at Trader Joe’s? Would someone please tell me? I think TJ’s last great chardonnay value was the 2006 Charles Shaw. Ho-Hum.

  11. We tried out the W wine last night with a nice Sat dinner with salmon.

    Ugh! Totally faked! I bought it because my husband hates to see how much I spend on wine and I thought he’d like the bottle. As much as he like to complain about what I spend on wine, we both were disappointed with this wine. Tonight I opened a bottle of Emergence. The first time I was impressed with both red and white; tonight I was less impressed even for the money.

    Now TJ’s has a sustainably grown sauv blanc blend (semillon & chard) from Lake County that’s about $5. I was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, hubby recycled the bottle before I could write it up!

  12. Going to go against the popular response here– I actually LIKE W– it is not the typical Chardonnay that I prefer, but perfect for a summer picnic wine– light, crisp, and must be served very cold.

  13. So I tried the W in TJ’s while they were handing out samples. And I thought, ok, inexpensive, better than 2buckchuck or Kendall Jackson, so I bought a bottle. And growing up in CA I was just enticed by the fun label.
    At home, opened it on a summer night for dinner al fresco with grilled chicken. So very, very, very, very disappointed. Really. I mean, I could’ve bought a cool iPhone app with the $4.99 I just spent. What a waste of grapes. They should’ve made grape juice.

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