Redwood Creek, a part of the Gallo empire.
Winemaker Cal Denison - an outdoorsy-looking fellow - has crafted a reasonably nice Chardonnay with an unfortunately nondescript name. I enjoyed a glass of it at the Callender’s Grill on Wilshire Boulevard. I tend to show up there quite a bit, not because its such a great bar, but because it’s geographically convenient. It’s just down the street from my favorite Starbucks, which has become an office-away-from-home for me.
It is one of the cheaper wines on the Callender's list, but it’s pretty good for the $5 happy hour price. Much appreciated is the good pour from the longtime bartender there.
The wine is medium full in the mouth - brisk and refreshing, actually. A light acidity is just enough to provide a spark, but not enough to bite. Tropical fruit and lemon peel come forth on the nose, while the palate shows pears and a bit of citrus with a hint of green apple. The oak is not at all overdone, something that is unusual in a cheap wine. Lots of oak is no substitute for good grapes.
While this wine won’t be giving anyone thrills and chills, it’s a solid effort at a lowball price point. If you try just a little bit, you can probably find it in a supermarket for five or six bucks. The hotter the day, the better it will taste.
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