It was back in June when I reviewed the 2012 Yalumba “Y Series” Shiraz and vowed that I'd try their Viognier. Well, I haven’t gotten to that yet, but I will. Yalumba is Australia’s oldest winery and because I so enjoyed the Shiraz it prompted me to pick up a bottle of today’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2013 Yalumba “Y Series” Unwooded Chardonnay. Yes, Unwooded, another term for unoaked or to say that the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks rather than oak barrels.
For many years I was sort of an “anything but Chardonnay” white wine drinker mostly because many Chardonnay’s were too toasty or over oaked for my taste. The finish always made me feel as though I’d licked the barrel sans the splinters. Discovering an unoaked Chardonnay was a big deal for me. I felt I could finely taste the true expression of the fruit itself. Over time I’ve expanded my taste for Chardonnay and can now appreciate that the type of oak used and the amount of time aged in oak (sometimes both oak and stainless) can make for some very delicious and intriguing wines. However, I still prefer a bit of restraint when it comes to oak and Chardonnay.
About the label, the bird is a Cape Barren Goose - an endangered species. Over the years, many birds and animals have sought refuge in Yalumba’s sanctuary – land dedicated to native wildlife rehabilitation. Yalumba’s focus on sustainability is something I respect. Yalubma is the first wine company in the world to recieve the Climate Protection Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency (2007). All Yalumba wines are vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Now, the wine. On the nose, herbal and tropical fruit notes as well as pear. In many ways, this doesn't "drink like a Chardonnay" even an unwooded one. Its bright acidity and assertive citrus notes on the palate are refreshing and enjoyable, but the wine is a bit lighter bodied and more "one note" than what I'm looking for in my Chardonnay these days.
The price point on the wine, at about $12, makes for an enjoyable weeknight wine. So, I have no regrets. If you tend to shy away from Chardonnay because you think they are over oaked, this wine is a great place to start if you're interested in changing your view of Chardonnay.
We had this with Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps and it was perfect with the Asian flavors. Also try it with Tempura Fish Tacos. To print or save the recipe pairing suggestions, click the links below.