Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher used their Friday WSJ column to blast a hole in the side of the barrel that is American Chardonnay, calling it, “simple, sweet, alcoholic and false.” Moreover, much of the pricey stuff isn’t getting discounted, as many other expensive wines are. They write:
So, did we find great bargains? No. We did not find cutthroat competition on price among higher-end American Chardonnay. It’s as if most wine stores these days are like developers who built homes on spec and now refuse to lower prices even in the face of weak demand. More important, most of the wines themselves weren’t good values at any price. They were too often disappointing, with too much oak, too little fruit and little care. Too many tasted like stagnant water, like pickling spices, or like vanilla flavorings added to water. They were not pleasant to drink on their own and would not pair well with any food…
We wondered, honestly, who they think their market is and we finally realized that many high-end American Chardonnays have become the Cadillac of the wine world. Their core audience is older, moneyed and comfortable with the names they’ve come to know. As a result, too many Chardonnay producers have decided that, as long as the bottle is just as heavy and the label is just as nice, they can take advantage of those customers by shirking on quality. But even General Motors decided, in the long run, that Cadillac needed more attention—not to mention younger buyers. We don’t believe that the current business model for most producers of higher-end American Chardonnay will work in the long run. We hope not.
Yeeow! Check out the whole article for more, including the ones they actually liked. “U.S. Chardonnay Has No Bargain Bin“