E&J Gallo, The Original Dark Horse, Chardonnay, California, USA, 2013
Chardonnay dominant with gewurztraminer, Diam 3 agglomerate cork closure, 13.5% abv, Waitrose, £9.60
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears
Nose: clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas of rich sweet apple juice, rich warm baked apple, ripe pear, unripe stone fruit, a hint of background citrus, butter and toast, and a whiff of oak.
Palate: an off-dry wine, with medium acidity, a very low-key gummy grip, medium (+) alcohol and a medium (+) body, medium intensity, a smooth almost oily texture, with flavours of danish pastry, baked apple, apricot, toast, vanilla and spice. A long length with a clean richly fruity slightly grippy finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, with rich aromas and flavours, with acidity barely balancing alcohol and residual sugar. Nevertheless effort has been made in its creation, with malolactic fermentation/lees ageing – for the smooth texture, buttery notes and added body, and time in new oak, or with new oak – for the toasty, vanilla and oaky notes. A wine with good intensity and concentration of flavour, following through to the long length, and whilst showing a good palette of tertiary notes, these are quite static and so the wine does not show much complexity.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: drink now, this wine does not have the acidity structure, nor robust balance to do more than hold for a year or two, without development/improvement, if cellared properly.