Our Wine Buying Guide for Chardonnay Wines Under 20 a Bottle
While the top rated Chardonnay wines come from France and California, you can find some great tasting ones from other areas like Long Island NY, Spain, New Zealand, or Australia. Try some of our favorites for under $20 a bottle!
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Clocher des Benedictins 2008 France Chardonnay
“Limoux is home to some of southern France’s finest barrel-fermented Chardonnays, like the Clocher des Bénédictins from Sieur d’Arques.”
That’s high praise from Andrew Jefford, award-winning wine writer and author of The New France. You’ll see (and taste) why we’re so excited to have secured this exceptionally rich, creamy treat.
They take their Chardonnay very seriously in Limoux – so seriously, they hold a barrel auction each year (just like in Burgundy). This cuvée, made especially for the event, has all the finesse of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet (those expensive white Burgundies) at a far friendlier price. Sure to impress your dinner guests.
Buttery apple pie with creamy notes and a toasty, oaky edge. Complex and wonderfully fresh, with great depth of white stone fruit and a fine minerality.
Lionstone Selection Paumanok Festival Chardonnay 2010 New York USA
Top writer Hugh Johnson calls Long Island “New York’s answer to Bordeaux.” See what the (worthy) fuss is about with this exclusive release from the poetically named Paumanok Vineyards — the pioneering estate praised by Saveur as “a contender for the best winery on Long Island.” And, whose wines are served at top Manhattan restaurants (The Four Seasons, Jean Georges) and the White House.
Crafted from star winemaker Kareem Massoud’s best vineyard blocks and without oak influence, it’s full of pure, ripe fruit flavor. Look forward to apple, lemon and pineapple, with a minerally finish. Fantastic summer picnic wine, anyone?
Laetitia Vineyard Select Chardonnay 2010 California USA
The Arroyo Grande Valley has many claims to fame – along with being the gorgeous setting for the Oscar-winning film Sideways, it’s also where renowned Champagne producers Maison Deutz planted their prized vines back in the ’70s (they knew the cool Pacific breezes and steady sun were ideal for growing Chardonnay – one of the classic Champagne grapes).
Today, Eric Hickey presides over these special vineyards, and has gotten “serious” about quality.” (Robert Parker) Using his mastery of Burgundian techniques (he apprenticed with famed, Burgundy-born winemaker Christian Roguenant), he’s created this delicious ‘Vineyard Select’ just for us to share with customers.
Fermented in small French oak barrels – a tradition in Burgundy – then aged in new oak barrels for 9 months. The result is a rich, toasty wine with notes of spicy citrus. Eric recommends you serve with succulent, lighter meats such as roast chicken, pheasant or rabbit.
A perfect, crowd-pleasing white to have on-hand for holidays, special occasions or even unexpected company.
Raymond Family Napa Chardonnay 2010 California USA
Star winemaker Stephanie Putnam is well-known for making excellent Chardonnays — her wines have placed in the Top-100 lists of both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. She crafts this popular Chardonnay from premium grapes grown by one of Napa Valley’s oldest winemaking families, the Raymonds.
Add to this equation Raymond’s new owner Jean-Charles Boisset — head of a top Burgundy house, who has Chardonnay running through his veins — and you have something truly special. As a pioneer in sustainability, Jean-Charles helped implement his family’s traditional Burgundian organic farming methods in early 2010, making this new vintage an exciting follow-up to the excellent 2009.
The high level of care taken in the vineyard is rewarded in the glass. Enticing aromas of honeysuckle and orange blossom lead to crisp pear, apple and lemon flavors. The finish is smooth and vanilla-rich. This Chardonnay makes a very enjoyable aperitif on its own or an ideal pairing with vegetarian, chicken and seafood dishes.
With back-to-back small harvests, California grape shortages and high demand, prices of U.S. wines are rising fast. Stock up on exciting values like this delicious Chardonnay today.
Pago de Cirsus Seleccion Especial Chardonnay 2010 Spain
A few years ago, acclaimed film producer Iñaki Núñez (Basic Instinct) opened Pago de Cirsus. Built in the style of a 14th century fortress, this unique tower not only houses a luxury hotel and restaurant, but a winery named one of the Top 100 in the world (2009 and 2010 International Wine Challenge). Crafted by brilliant Basque winemaker Gurutze Gaztelumendi, this exclusive, oak-aged Chardonnay reveals the luxurious star quality that’s coming out of this region.
Gurutze’s Selección Especial is made with hand-selected fruit from the estate’s highest vines (for maximum fruit ripeness). The gentle oak aging has added subtle spicy complexity to the bright tropical fruit. His suggestion for dinner? Serve with trout cooked Navarran style — sautéed with a thin slice of ham and pochas (white beans).
The Yelverton Reserve Chardonnay 2010 Australia
Move over, California and France — it’s time to head Down Under. “Australia is producing great Chardonnays in a global context,” says top critic Tim Wildman, Master of Wine. Thanks to cooling Antarctic breezes, the Margaret River region is the place to go for the most elegant versions — but usually, they come with a high price tag. Luckily, our friends at the region’s top estate were willing to make us a remarkable deal on this white, provided we agreed to protect their identity (and avoid upsetting their regular customers!) Look for ripe pear and banana, framed by layers of vanilla oak.
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