Chardonnay is still king by most accounts of today's white wine buying trends. Sales increase every year for this popular grape that accounts for almost 30% of domestic production. In addition, the Chardonnay drinking public has been moving more and more to unoaked versions for their everyday drinking and the California producers are rolling out more of these wines every year. But if there's one thing I've confessed on these pages, it's that I am going to skew old world in my tastes, and that means that for me, the best Chardonnays are French.
The unoaked Cuvee Elena from Le Bourcier is a Chardonnay from France's Macon region (a sub-region of Burgundy), the home to millions of gallons of Chardonnay production every year. This bottle is a 2008 and it's somewhat golden color hints at a bit of oxidation as it nears the end of it's 2 or 3 year window of drinkability. It's delicious anyway. Beautiful aromas of honeyed pear, fresh fig and a minerally nuance lead to big flavors of pear, orange rind and almond. It's got excellent balancing acidity and a long, creamy finish. The aromas and flavors definitely fell off a bit with airing but I wouldn't hesitate to pick up an '09 or a '10 of this bottling. It's almost always delicious. Imported by one of my faves Polaner Selections, this easy drinking everyday Chardonnay cost me $12.99. Cheers.