Thierry and Guy Fat bastard Chardonnay – 2010
This was almost my choice for last weeks Bastille Day 2012 considering its French origin. A fact that many still do not realize, and I was even surprised to find out last year. Must be the funny name that throws some consumers off, although the french can be humorous, but no matter the reason as the wine maker Thierry himself states; this Chardonnay is a consumer favorite.
Thierry and Guy get all the credit for developing what Fat bastard has become. They used no malolactic fermentation and the wine is aged on lees to give it “more structure and fruit forward style”. Only 35% is oaked therefore giving it I believe, a more delicate yet still bold true Chardonnay taste. Those accustomed to oaky California Chardonnay’s may think they are drinking a completely different varietal. I prefer this style of winemaking when it comes to Chardonnay.
I remember friends of mine years ago referring to this wine mostly because of the character with the same name in the Austin Powers movies. I quite honestly didn’t take the wine seriously [because of the name] but I also didn’t taste it. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when in a rush for a white wine I picked this one off the grocer shelf for a dinner party. It was a hit! Since then I’ve had it a few times and recently it’s almost become a staple at my house. The fact that it is summer may have something to do with it but us red wine drinkers do have to go white every once in a while….
To craft the Fat bastard Chardonnay, grapes are sourced from all over the Languedoc-Roussillon, from the banks of the Rhone in the east to Carcassonne in the west, and from the foothills of the Massif Central in the north to the Mediterranean coast in the south. These different origins give the wine the balanced fruit flavor and acidity that have made it a consumer favorite.
I can see why this winemaker refers to their Chardonnay as a consumer favorite, I find it to be delicious and somewhat bold and delicate at once, the way I feel Chardonnay should be. Therefore I am categorizing it as a perfect “go-to” wine. Usually priced in the $8.99-$9.99 range, it is always reliable and a pleasure to drink! I feel it is the perfect wine to drink during the week at home, to take to friends house and even as a gift. I’d also like to add that I think it tastes like a wine at a higher price point.
My tasting notes: Golden straw in color. Honeysuckle, melon and peach [tropical/tree fruit] on the nose with minerality as it warms. Also the flowery aroma expands as it breathes and or warms. On the palate much the same, with the peach flavor expanding over the others. I would classify this wine as having medium acidity levels and little to no wood influence on the nose and palate. It paired excellently with wild rice and pan grilled chicken.
Interestingly enough my mouth was watering as I typed the above description. I guess I know what I should be drinking tonight 🙂 ¡SALUD!
A cool spring led to difficult flowering, but the summer was mainly hot and dry so the wines have nice acidity and good body. Harvest was started much later than the previous year, and grapes were harvested at night to benefit from the cooler temperatures.
The winemakers work very closely with the growers to determine the start of the harvest. The goal is to seek aromatic ripeness and rich varietal character. Upon arrival at the winery, grapes immediately go through the crusher-stemmer. The juice is pressed pneumatically and refrigerated for 24 to 48 hours; it is then drawn off to start the fermentation with selected yeasts, at controlled temperatures.
It was a good thing I dressed in layers while monitoring the grapes for the 2010 vintage. A hot July and then a very cool August produced fruit that had perfect, high acidity while maintaining intense fruit flavors. The goal for me was to incorporate the fruit’s great flavor all the way from vine to bottle.