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2015 Daou Chardonnay Paso Robles

2015 Daou Chardonnay Paso Robles

The taste of different Chardonnays even from the same region and year can vary widely, so it’s really a personal preference on the exact style and nuances that each person enjoys.  Me, I tend to like cleaner, less oaky, more fruit forward Chardonnays in the style of most Burgundies, particularly Chablis.

It seems like many more of the CA producers are toning down the oak, which appeals to me, but I found this bottle from Daou, which I really really wanted to like, just not to my tastes.

The nose hints at a more citrus fruit forward wine to come, but once in the mouth the wine is overtaken with butter, cream and wood, leaving little in the way of discernible fruit.  And that oak lingers a long time in the mouth.

I tried changing the temperature of the wine, and pairing with a few different cheeses, but the oak cut through about everything.

Now, I understand some people love their Chards like this.  They want big butter and big oak, and that’s totally cool.  I feel it’s our job to report on the style and share our opinion but also let you the reader make the decision on the wines you will like best.

I’m not sure how to rate this bottle so I’m not going to.  It was $14.99 at my Costco in the Atlanta area.

Costco item number: 549335

Alc. 14.2%

Rick Grooms

Wednesday 14th of June 2017

Sounds delicious to me. Don't care for fruit bombs myself.


Wednesday 14th of June 2017

I agree tastes can vary widely when it comes to Chardonnay. Oaked versus non-oaked has always been a hotly debated topic. However, I do believe any wine should be measured by the balance of flavors. A steel fermented Chard with nothing but fruit on the palate is just as unappealing to me as an oak-bomb Napa Chardonnay that leaves no room for anything else. Although I prefer unoaked Chardonnay with a good streak of minerality, I've tasted plenty of well-balanced Chardonnays that allow for plenty of complexity even with the oak. It sounds to me like this Daou Chardonnay is simply an unbalanced wine which suggests a heavy hand during the winemaking process. This may have been their chosen flavor profile, but with such a strong Cabernet Sauvignon it would surprise me if that were the case. I'd be curious to find reviews of other vintages to see if the 2015's oak dominance is the exception or the norm.

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