Aliza Kellerman filling in for Adam Teeter here. Since Adam is off enjoying the California coast, we thought it would be appropriate to find a wine that has typical, big-fruit California flavor, and what better grape to do that than Chardonnay? Chardonnay is typically either oak aged or steel-barrel aged, and the two taste wildly different. While some bemoan oaked Chardonnays for their “buttery” or “creamy” qualities, we wanted to find a Chardonnay that retains the best qualities of oakiness without being completely overwhelming or cloyingly thick. We decided on Newton Chardonnay 2013.
We’re not going to lie: this wine has an impact, and after 12 months in oak, we’d expect nothing less. The wine pours bright yellow, with a hazy, unfiltered texture and thick legs. The nose is full of nuts, pear, and apple pie, while a taste will reveal nuts, milk, and pineapple. It’s a wine that’s so viscous and yes, creamy, you might feel your mouth gum up upon your first sip, not dissimilar to a red wine with silky tannins. However, there’s a nice amount of acidity that prevents this wine from being totally heavy.
If you’re dead set against Chards, this isn’t the wine for you. Chardonnay convert, this will not make. However, if you’re already a tentative Chardonnay drinker, we recommend you go exploring and give this wine a shot. It’s a great food wine, to say the least, because it has enough guts to stand up to plenty of dishes, including pork chops, veal, and gamey poultry. Root vegetables would also be a good pairing, as would grilled oysters. This is also a fantastic wine to enjoy with a cheese plate, so if you’re thinking about hosting a party, this makes an easy accompaniment for hors d’oeuvres.
Sometimes, you want to sip a wine that falls into the background, but sometimes, you need a conversation piece. Newtown Chardonnay is just that, a bold, luscious talking point.