Weekend wine: Pandolfi Price Chardonnay

Weekend wine: Pandolfi Price Chardonnay

Pandolfi Price ChardonnayThis week, we have two for the price of one: I liked these Pandolfi Price Chardonnay wines so much, that I’m featuring them both. I’ve found that people tend to have strong opinions about Chardonnay: for some it’s their favourite wine, while others have told me they really don’t like it. I think it’s a shame to write it off, as this is one of the most versatile grape varieties, producing several different styles of wine.

These two Pandolfi Price Chardonnay wines are a great example of this. One is oaked, so fuller-bodied, creamier and more complex. The other has no oak influence and is lighter-bodied and refreshing and might well appeal to those who like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, for instance.

Food pairing

Chardonnay is very food-friendly, pairing well with fish, chicken and vegetable dishes, even salads. As it has more body, you could try Los Patricios with a more meaty fish like salmon, chicken in a cheese sauce or vegetarian lasagne, while the lighter-bodied Larkun might pair well with grilled white fish, sautéed chicken breast or salad.

Tasting notes

Pandolfi Price Los Patricios Chardonnay 2014, Itata Valley, 15% ABV

A lemon-coloured wine with a deliciously intense nose with layers of aromas: first the fruit – grapefruit, peaches and apples; next some subtle buttery notes from the 24 months this wine spent ageing on its lees; and finally some steely and pebbly mineral notes. In the mouth it is dry, with fresh acidity, very high alcohol – watch out for this one, it’s so easy to keep sipping it without realising it’s a whopping 15%! Full-bodied and creamy in the mouth, and all those fruity and mineral notes are present again in this deliciously satisfying white. No wonder it’s garnered so many international awards and high scores from critics.

Pandolfi Price Larkun Chardonnay 2015, Itata Valley, 14% ABV

Pale lemon in colour. The nose is more subtle than Los Patricios, with some aromas of just ripe stone fruit, grapefruit and quince, as well as those mineral notes. This is a dry wine with zesty acidity, medium body and those mineral and fruity notes coming through in the flavour.  This is a refreshing Chardonnay, perfect for a hot day on the terrace.

Winemaking

The vineyard is 25 years old and located in Larqui in the Itata Valley, around 60km from the Pacific Ocean. The soils contain basalt, which provides the mineral notes that come through in both wines. The vines have been dry-farmed since 1995 and are grown in a sustainable manner.
The Los Patricios Chardonnay was fermented and aged for 24 months in French oak barrels.  Fermenting and ageing a wine in oak tends to give it more body, making it feel more voluminous in your mouth (like drinking cream rather than water). The wine was aged over its lees (in contact with the sediment it naturally produces) and this will have given it more body and a touch of creaminess. The wine also underwent malolactic fermentation (MLF), a process to change the sharp green apple type acidity into a softer, more lactic acidity, giving the wine notes that put you in mind of milk products like cream or butter.

The Larkun Chardonnay was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks and did not undergo malolactic fermentation (MLF).  This means there will be no oak influence, so the wine retains its fresh fruitiness and the lack of MLF means the acidity remains sharper and more refreshing. This wine was also aged over its lees, which will have given it a bit more body and texture than it would have otherwise have had.

Where can you buy Pandolfi Price Chardonnay?

Here in Chile, besides restaurants, the only stockists for Pandolfi Price Chardonnay are La Cava del Pescador (Concepción and Viña del Mar stores) and Bordeaux Gourmet in Concepción. In the UK, the wines are available from Berry Bros & Rudd and Stone Vine & Sun.  For other countries, please contact the winery direct.

Pandolfi Price website

Other posts:

Five reasons for rediscovering Chardonnay

Chardonnay tasting

Weekend wine: Huaso de Sauzal Garnacha 2013

Weekend wine: Loma Larga Cabernet Franc 2014

Weekend wine: Grey Pinot Noir

 

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