Sol de Andes Chardonnay Reserva Especial

Four bottles of this wine… the stuff of which my nightmares are made.

2009 Sol de Andes Chardonnay “Reserva Especial”, Casablanca Valley, Chile $15
As of late I have taken to experimenting with accessibly priced Chardonnays from all over the globe, as it appears that are some smashing values to be found in this category these days, many being surprisingly well-crafted with wonderful purity of fruit. And then I came across this…

Especial is supposed to infer that something is special, right? Well, let me tell you that in my mind there is nothing special about this particular bottling, unless, that is,  you find the stench of rotten peach kernels special. It actually had me having flashbacks to the horror of my little sister being discovered to have nits/headlice at primary school. To my olfactory memory this stuff reeked of the special shampoo she was prescribed. I kid you not. But let’s not let my PTSD cloud my judgement here.

If there is one thing that really gets my goat when it comes to modern wines it is tired fruit, of which this example has in droves. What with advancements in winemaking technologies there is simply no excuse for that these days. While I may be going against the grain here (some reviewers have favourably scored the same wine) I was terribly disappointed with both bottles. Whilst I can understand that the wine now has a few years on it, I feel that this one is well over the hill, and has neither the acid balance, nor the fruit profile that evolved whites require. There’s some oak hidden in there, but it brings absolutely nothing of any significance to this already stinky party.

Flat, decomposing tropical fruit coupled with a terribly clumsy structure do not a good wine make in my book. Zero apples out of five.

Jamie Drummond - Good Food Revolution

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And sometimes you have to swim against the current.