Just say no to OAK!

WOW!  What a day.  The mercury has reached 90 degrees, in SAN FRANCISCO.  IN APRIL!  Mother Nature is sure ticked off.  The saving grace to this terrible heat wave is that I have been enjoying some very nice white wines of late.  Now, you probably know that I am a red girl through and through, and have been known to drink Pinot with my fish, but there is something so relaxing about a cold white on a red hot day.

When I got home from work, my house was an oven, and the last thing I could think of doing was opening a red.  So I made
myself some cold chicken salad, and cracked open a bottle of Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay that I have had stashed in my fridge for a while.  The unoaked version of the classic white is my cup of tea.  I have long held the belief that we have destroyed a perfectly lovely white wine varietal by turning it the color of pee and adding oak essence to it.  I personally prefer the minerally citrus inspired dry and crisp light whites from France.  While this was by no means a light white, it was a refreshing change of pace.

While it goes through 100% malolactic fermentation, which gives it a rich and creamy mouthfeel.  Then, this wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and never sees oak barrels, hence the unoaked label.   I tasted butterscotch, vanilla pudding, and tropical fruits as well as crisper citrus notes.  This was like eating a juicy green apple, and it was very refreshing on a hot hot day.

I know i’ll be buying it again if i can find it!  The Kim Cracford Unoaked Chardonnay retails for around $15-18, and can be found at BevMo and Wine.com among other places.  Examples of Chardonnay of this quality and style are why i have permanently cancelled my membership int eh ABC Club (Anything But Chardonnay).  I hope too will give some of these a try!

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8 comments

  • Agreed on oak. Love my white's crisp and clean. No butterscotch or buttered popcorn flavors please.

    Still exploring other white grape varietals, but a nice Grigich Hills or Mount Eden Chardonnay on a special occasion is tough to beat!

  • Hi Scott! I don't mind some Malo, as long as it's not overdone. But I do think that food makes all the diff.

    I agree with you on exploring other whites though! I have been enjoying a lot of Viogniers and Marsannes recently, and now i'm on a mission to try more Torrontes!

    Happy drinking!

  • Love the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blancs (the Chard, sounds great as well) and the stelvin caps make a quick dash to fridge for another glass so handy. Agreed, wonderful on a hot-day! Geez really cooking down here in San Diego over a hundred yesterday! Can't say I've completely sworn off oak altogether!

  • 80 degrees in SF, over 100 in SD?!?! Has the world gone mad? Guess I should be glad for these lovely London spring days. I have to disagree though on the oak, just make sure it's white Burgundy, Macon and Macon Village really good value, as they're not as well known. Look for the 05's really great vintage and good value!

  • My sweets.. I remember that you detest oak. I love a good unoaked chard. But there is a BIG, did I write HUGE? difference between "Toasted Head" and a highly structured wine from an older French barrel (try Landmark Damaris Reserve 2006 blind and I bet you'd faint). Wouldn't blind tasting be fun?

    I just feel so bummed when any particular varietal or wine style is written off…to me there's always something new around the corner that might change my mind.

  • Bill – thank god the fog is back!

    Sleuth – yes crazy hot but relief is here! Now, a well balanced wine is difference than drinking a 2×4, and i've been known to enjoy a Macon…

    Alana – right as usual! And i don't DETEST oak i just don't like overpowering oak. I enjoy a WELL balanced wine with a good structure, including some oak. I just hate over done wine PERIOD.

    STOP over oaking!

    STOP over maloacting!

    STOP over extracting!

    I do like chard, but i prefer a lighter, less oaked one 😉

    But i love hearing all of your comments!

  • Dearest Lush— I have to take umbrage at your saying no to OAK. Oakland can be a lovely spot. It's close to San Francisco. SFO. Lots of great restaurants, wines bars and even wineries! And 2/3 of the BrixChicks are Oakland residents, Oakland residents who hella love Oakland, so..what's that Xandria? She meant what? Oh, Oak! Not the Airport code? You mean like crazy overoaked sucking on wood chips wine. Ooops! Sorry! Never mind. What she said. Just say no to clumsy oak.

  • Dearest Chick,

    OAK is no SFO. SFO is where you go! But just say no to drunken HO!

    heheh yes – the lower oak or balanced oak is for the better of the wine kind!

    Now i need to wait for some more sunshine to drink the West Cape Howe!

    YUM!

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