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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Calina Reserva Chardonnay 2006

A few posts ago (scroll down) I raved about the Calina Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, a Chilean offering with good nose, fruit, body and no rough edges for the wonderfully affordable price of $7 per bottle.

Today someone pointed out that Calina makes a Reserva Chardonnay too, so I decided to take it home to try it out. Could lightning strike twice?

Zap! Zap! Yes, it could! I've paid three times as much in wine shops for Chardonnays I didn't like as well as this one. In fact, if you paid $7 for a glass of wine this good in a restaurant, you'd think you were getting a good deal. (Hear that, restaurateurs?)

This wine tastes like it could be from California, and there's a reason for that. Calina is owned by Kendall-Jackson, and there's a definite family resemblance. The Calina Reserva is nowhere near as over-the-top creamy and buttery as the K-J equivalent, but the evidence of malolactic fermentation and French oak is there.

It's medium in body, at a reasonable 13.5 percent alcohol. On the palate is pear seasoned with a little nutmeg; it finishes clean and dry, with no trace of bitterness (something I am particularly sensitive to). This would be a perfect deck wine for summer, or to pair with grilled chicken or scallops.

And I did mention, didn't I, that it's $7 a bottle?
M. Zane Grey, 7:49 PM