Attention Chardonnay Lovers!

Fast Facts:

  • 2018 Carpe Diem Chardonnay, Anderson Valley, Sonoma, California ($15.99 @Costco in California – Item #980701)
  • 2017 Bouchain Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley, California ($17.99* @Costco in California – Item #60020)

*price after $10 in store discount, as show below!

 

Sign at Costco showing $10 discount off Bouchaine Chardonnay
We love seeing signs like this at Costco!

 

Two Chardonnays with similar price points, but slightly different styles meant we just had to try them head to head.  If the vintages strike you as “old” don’t worry.  Chardonnay is the rare white wines that ages gracefully, and even improves with age. Both of these are very elegant, and very ready for you to put them in your own taste test. If you do (and we know that not every Costco will stock these wines) let us know what you think in the comments section here.

 

Anderson Valley is an AVA (American Viticultural Area) in Mendocino County, California. It lies at the very northern end of California’s prime winegrowing area, approximately 100 miles north of San Francisco.

It’s approximately a mile wide and 16 miles long, covering approximately 57,600 acres and is located 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Narrow and low lying, the valley is perfectly positioned and shaped to funnel ocean breezes and fog in from the Pacific coast. It is amongst the coolest of California’s wine regions. Rain is also plentiful and concentrated to the cooler months of November through to March.

The unique combination of geographical and climatic conditions found in this valley has resulted in the predominance of mostly cool climate varieties, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sparkling wines of exceptional quality are also made here.

So it comes as no surprise that this Carpe Diem Chardonnay has the right stuff. That Costco has it at such a great price is a bonus.

 

Front label of 2018 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Chardonnay
Front label of 2018 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Chardonnay – seize the day!

 

Tasting Notes:

Delicate and fresh aromas of lemon, almond and bread dough. Citrus and floral flavors share the glass with toasted oak, baked apple, nutmeg and butter. Medium bodied with grip and good acid provide structure, length and roundness. Savory and light finish. Would pair well with hard cheeses, and any number of poultry and pork dishes in light sauces.

Critical acclaim:
Wine Enthusiast: 93

 

Our second featured wine is from the Carneros AVA which is unique in that it straddles both Napa and Sonoma counties.  And its unique climate is best known for making world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These two grape varieties – one white, the other red – both tend to grow well in the same places, like Burgundy in France.

 

Front label of 2017 Bouchaine Chardonnay
Front label of 2017 Bouchaine Chardonnay – it looks like it should be more costly, and it usually is!
This wine is described as an “Estate Chardonnay.”  Estate isn’t a legally regulated term in the U.S., so it is relatively meaningless.  Please note however, this is not true in all countries, and a similar phrase – estate-bottled – is a legal term in the U.S.  It means that the wine is bottled at the winery.
Here is what the winery has to say about this wine: “The orchestration of different yeasts coupled with sur lie aging in stainless steel tanks as well as French oak barrels of different ages, toast levels and origins create an array of unique wines. Only the finest wines are combined in late spring into the vibrant final blend, showcasing the best of our estate.”
Tasting Notes:
Layered, lovely aromas of apple, citrus and jasmine. A rich, yet tangy palate showcases flavors of nectarine, lemon curd and brioche with a long elegant finish. Pair this with a roast chicken, a thick pork chop or just good friends.
Critical acclaim:
James Suckling 92

Bouchaine is the oldest continuously operating winery in Carneros, but only recently has the Estate truly become a force to be reckoned with. The history of the Estate dates back to the late 1880s when a Missouri-born settler named Boon Fly planted grapes and fruit trees on the property. In 1927, an Italian winemaker named Johnny Garetto bought the land and farmed it until 1961, when he sold to Beringer. After 20 years as a decaying storage facility under Beringer’s guidance, Garret and Tatiana Copeland saw potential and took the property over in the 1980s.

Bouchaine’s 100-acre estate vineyard lies on the southern border of Napa Valley’s Carneros district, overlooking the San Francisco bay with the financial district in the distance. Fog, wind, and the cold nighttime temperatures of this unique geographical area lend a distinctive regional identity to its wines.

 

Bottle and glass of 2017 Bouchaine Chardonnay and Carpe Diem Chadonnary
Cool temps and rain in the California forecast – I’ll toast to that!

 

Need More Wine Picks from Costco – or Trader Joe’s Even?

If your wine shopping excursions land you in Costco, prepare by grazing our most recent reviews of Costco wines here in our Lucky 13 list.

And if your shopping finds you at Trader Joe’s, you can find our Lucky 13 list of TJ’s wine here.

Happy hunting.

 

Cheers!

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