2005 Naked Chardonnay

You like the crispness of Sauvignon Blanc, but finding it a little too harsh?  Most Chardonnays too buttery for you?  Well, un-oaked Chardonnay…  The 2005 Naked Chardonnay from Four Vines is a good buy (about $11-13).  The folks at Merchant de Vino pointed this wine out, and I'm happy they did!  Pretty light color — I'm thinking straw-like — a nice buttery nose, maybe a hint of peaches.  Toward the more viscous in the mouth, with a sweet, honey-like stickiness, and the flavors stay around for about 30-45 seconds…quite reminiscent of peaches & nectarine, but the acid comes out pretty rapidly and tames that sweetness up front.

Here's the Santa Barbara vintner's take:

“Naked” is our expression for a No-Oak style of winemaking. The fruit was fermented in 100% stainless steel and NOT put through malolactic fermentation, in order to maintain the natural acid balance. The Chardonnay exhibits crisp apple, white peach, and pear, finishing long with hints of citrus and mineral. Drink Naked often!

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About ashleyroach

This is purely the work of the author, it is not affiliated with my employer.
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3 Responses to 2005 Naked Chardonnay

  1. MEK says:

    Ageing wines in oak gives the wine more complex flavours and richer texture. I get the impression the absence of oak here seems of little importance, sounds like the wine stands up for itself quite well. Is that a fair interpretation of your experience.
    I was at lunch a few weeks back and one of the guests said she had a reaction to oak wines, she specifically mentioned chardonnay. I'll inform her accordingly. She'll be pleased.
    P.S. Lets say, firstly, congratulations on your anniversary, sounds like you had an enjoyable meal. Secondly, a nice gesture from the wine merchant.

  2. Ashley says:

    You probably don't have a subscription to the Wall St. Journal, but they had an article in March 2006 about the "butter bomb" Chardonnays and how they are coming back, and the brief synopsis:
    A few weeks ago, we wrote that more and more people are looking for the big, buttery American Chardonnays of yesteryear (if you missed that column, you can read it here.) We said that, these days, asking for one was like ordering whitewalls for a new car — charmingly old-fashioned. Today's better Chardonnays tend to be leaner, while too many bad versions taste like lab-made parodies of Chardonnay's rich heritage. And we noted that winemakers generally don't like the description "buttery," indicating a gulf between vintners and many wine drinkers.
    Original article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114013045915976338.html?mod=Tastings
    Followup reader letters: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114315093524206759.html
    So, it's not oaked wines in general, but just the butter bomb American Chardonnays that I was referring to. Let me know, since I have a subscription, I can send you a link that you can read for a week or something.

  3. MEK says:

    Thanks I see your point. I do have a subscription to WSJ (with it now part of Murdoch's stable perhaps before long it will all be free) so I'll take a look.

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