Varietal: Chardonnay with a dash of Malvasia Bianca and other aromatic whites
Region: California – USA
Cost: $13 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Pour a glass and enjoy the lovely floral and honey aromatics with soft hints of lemon zest, green apple, and toasty oak. Then savor a sip as you taste bright citrus, peach, honey, pear, and creamy marshmallow flavors. This medium-bodied wine is balanced with good acidity – making it refreshing by itself or perfect with food. The rich and juicy finish provides the perfect end to this delightful wine.
My Review: I’ve had the chance to try Handcraft Wines before and found them to be…middling. They’re a great Tuesday-night wine – middling, affordable, and nothing to really complain about…or brag about. Recently a few more bottles of their newer vintage showed up at my house, and while I applaud the causes that Handcraft gives to (this time around it’s Breast Cancer), at the end of the day, I’m here to share my thoughts on the wine, so let’s jump in.
The wine was dark enough in the glass that it was clear without even looking at the notes that it had spent time in oak (100% French oak, though I don’t know the percentage or time), a fact that has seen many Chardonnays in my house be consumed mostly by me.
On the nose the wine showed a mix of green apple and lemon, while in the mouth it showed creaminess, along with pear and honey and just a hint of green apple to bring some citrus to the party. The color that showed it had seen oak was confirmed on the palate, with enough creaminess to ensure that nobody was going to be confusing this wine for a stainless steel Chardonnay, while still managing, thankfully, to not taste completely of oak notes, if only barely.
Paired with a dinner that involved chicken and creamy pasta with veggies all combined into one (check out the recipes on the back of those Knorr side packages sometime – you might be surprised), the wine was…ok. I think I personally would have preferred a crisper wine with the meal selection, but even just a toned down oak note would have made it a better pairing.
All in all the wine is palatable, and would probably be best served around Summer or early Fall when grill parties are still going on as it will pair with a range of foods and isn’t likely to offend too many people and can mostly be sipped on idly while engaging in conversation. That being said, it’s also not likely to find its way into my house again, my wife’s general distaste for oaked Chardonnay being a contributing factor.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review