2009 Overlake Chardonnay

Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2009 Overlake ChardonnayPer the bottle “Classic Chardonnay in style. Toasty oak and vanilla lead to green apple and lemon drop aromas. A mix of fig, melon and mineral accented by ample acidity. Displays a creamy moderately buttered finish.”

What I Think:

I reviewed the Overlake Sauvignon Blanc offering a few days back and as mentioned then I had grabbed the Chardonnay as well. The first think that struck me about this one, as mentioned by JB, was the quality of the bottle itself. This wine came across as more expensive than the price tag based on the sheer weight when holding it in your hand. Could it deliver in the glass?

Straight buttered popcorn on the nose. This is a full bodied wine with the vanilla barrel flavors heavily present throughout. Some acidity emerges late in the mid palate and allows some green apple and lemon notes to sneak through though they are quickly muted. The finish is very creamy and buttery (can’t believe they used “moderately” above) though lingers nicely. Guessing many would enjoy this (my wife loves it!) as it seems I’ve had many similar offerings for three times the price. Still though this wine seems well made I am looking for a lot more fruit and acidity than can be found here. If you are a fan of a big buttery Chardonnay this may be right up your alley. Feel free to give it a try.

Rating: 12th Bottle

2009 Overlake Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2009 Overlake Sauvignon BlancPer Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “North of Napa & northeast of Sonoma, California’s Lake County may not be as well known as its movie-star-famous neighbors, but its wines are at least as worthy of your attention. In fact, Lake County has long been a favorite “hidden” source for many of California’s most prodigious winemakers due to both the quality and availability of its terroir. So when top-notch wines from Lake County are priced at $4.99 a bottle, they’re definitely ready for their close-up.

All of this leads us to introduce Overlake Sauvignon Blanc, a celebrity-in-the making from Lake County. On the nose, it’s vibrant & fresh with grapefruit, pineapple & grass aromas. On the palate, you’ll find an excellent balance of tangy, rich and smooth elements, followed by a long, refreshing finish. On the wallet, Overlake Sauvignon Blanc’s low price of $4.99 is sure to get your attention – for wine of this quality, this is a real superstar of a price.”

What I Think:

When I first saw this on the back cover of my most recent Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer my mind immediately, with excitement, leapt back to the 2007 Overlake Cabernet Sauvignon which was ranked #2 in the Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wines List in May of 2009. Initially disappointed I continued reading further down and found a mention of the Cab which was in stock as well. Off to my local store I went with corkscrew and glass in hand as I felt another parking lot tasting was in order. That was strike one on the Cab (I am 0-3 on tracking that one down now, anyone have any luck?) but I did grab this Sauvignon Blanc as well as the Chardonnay. One item of note is that the previous versions of these wines were made by “Kitchen Sink Wines” which appeared to be affiliated with Coppola and these latest offerings are courtesy of “Plunkett Creek Vineyards” which is apparently tied to Wildhurst Vineyards (where a similar bottle goes for $12). That mystery will have to wait for another day though as I want to get to this bottle…

The nose is loaded with grapefruit and nectarine aromas. Unexpectedly heavy and viscous on the palate, you are quickly aware this is not your typical Sauvignon Blanc. That said it is still enjoyable starting; smooth with the same nectarine flavors emerging first. A lemon component kicks in around the mid palate before delivering a tart and refreshing finish that lingers nicely. It definitely finishes fuller in body, a hint sweet and lacking much of the acidity you typically find reminding me of a previous VINTJS offering. Not what I was expecting from a Sauvignon Blanc but I found myself pleased nonetheless. I already grabbed three more bottles; feel free to grab one yourself!

Rating: Buy It