The Chardonnay Showdown!

12 wines from 4 regions, but only 1 can emerge victorious. [Update: The RESULTS are in!]

The competitors

I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of Chardonnay, but there are definitely times in the middle of summer that call out for a good bottle. For me this means that on those rare occasions that I do drink a Chardonnay, I really want to make sure I drink a good one. And finding the best Chardonnay for the money is what the Reverse Wine Snob Chardonnay Showdown is all about.

12 wines from four regions are represented in the picture above and we may just add a couple more before we are through. (Edit: We’ve done just that, adding another Chardonnay from Argentina in the listing below!) After all, Chardonnay is grown in more wine regions than any other grape and in 2004 was the 6th most grown grape variety! The regions represented are:

  • The powerhouse: California which in 2005 accounted for 25% of the world’s plantings.
  • Spain, which offers up two interesting entrants from the Kingdom of Navarra.
  • The emerging Chardonnay market of Argentina where Chardonnay is now second to Torrontés in white grape plantings.
  • Another emerging market, South Africa where Chardonnay was limited by quarantine restrictions through the 70s and 80s.

You’ll notice that the Burgundy region of France where Chardonnay originated is conspicuously absent, which we may rectify as we go, but I think we have a pretty diverse group of wines and styles (oak vs. unoaked) already. And of course, all of these can be found for well under $20!

Without further ado, here are the wines competing for this prestigious honor:

Here’s how the competition will work:

  • Over the next couple of weeks I will do a normal review for each wine in a separate post and also update this post with link to each.
  • At the very end I’ll summarize all the rankings in a results post and crown a winner. [Update: Here are the RESULTS.]
  • In order to get through this relatively quickly I’ll be trying to post about 5 reviews a week until we’re done.
  • This means we may not drink the entire bottle as we normally do, but as usual we will still try them over the course of 2 days. That way we can still report if there is any improvement or decline in the wine on day 2 since most of us don’t drink an entire bottle in one sitting and no one wants their wine to go to waste!

So get ready for some Chardonnay, the first review is coming on Monday!
All Chardonnay facts taken from Wikipedia.

Chardonnay Showdown Series | Intro | Post #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 |#12 | Results