Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2010

It’s getting to be that time of year - no, it’s already gotten to be that time of year - when we start to think of wines for the holidays.  Port, sherry, dessert wines, lush Cabs - they all get a little higher on my radar as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.

As for Chardonnay, I generally prefer a leaner, crisper type - unoaked, if possible.  When the holidays roll around, though, I become a sucker for the big, oaky style sometimes called “California Chardonnay.”

Liberty School comes from the Hope Family of wines in Paso Robles, California.  The wines from that line which I have tried are not bad at all, and priced low enough that I’ve seen them as house wines in restaurants and bars.

Their Chardonnay was only $5 at River Rock Lounge in Studio City’s Sportsmen’s Lodge during happy hour.  It retails for about $14 per bottle online

The wine has a brilliant yellow-gold tint, which foretells the significant effect of oak.  On the nose, tropical pineapple aromas are immediately noticeable, but so is the oak spice.  The oakiness in the flavor profile all but obliterates the fruit.

If you want a really big, old-style California Chardonnay, this could be a nice choice.  It’s actually a little oakier than I prefer, even in the holidays.  I’d pay a few dollars more and choose the Hope Family’s Treana White Rhône blend instead.

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