Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wine Review: L.A. Cetto Private Reserve 2011 Chardonnay

December is L.A. Cetto Month thanks to International Spirits and Wine!

L.A. Cetto Private Reserve 2011 Chardonnay

This is the 2011 Private Reserve Chardonnay from L.A. Cetto. Estate bottled in Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) in the state of Baja California, Mexico. The ABV is 13.5%. It won the Silver Medal at the 4th Annual New York International Wine Competition.

For some background on the L.A. Cetto winery and links to the other reviews in this series, please check out L.A. Cetto - A Brief History of the Mexican Winery. To learn more about Mexican wine in general, I've written a complete history on the subject: Mexico makes wine too, muchacho.

So in my review of L.A. Cetto's OTHER Chardonnay you found out that Chardonnay is a beautiful and destructive force in my life. That other Chardonnay is also unoaked, and I wrote down my thoughts on the majority of unoaked Chardonnay. Then I slammed affordable Chardonnay quality. I guess you could say that I've already blown my load on the Chardonnay rants in that one review.

But that's okay. There's no need to rant when you've got Buttery Heaven in a glass. I love oaky Chardonnay and I won't apologize for it. This one from L.A. Cetto was barrel fermented, then aged sur lie in French oak barrels for seven months. It'll run you about $17.

Oh lordy lordy lordy look at that color. Golden yellow, olive oil-ish, the color that lets you know that you need to drink more water during the day. In case you were keeping track, that was my second reference to a bodily fluid and this review just started. Merry Christmas!

Corn muffin and butter
The first thing that clicks in my head upon sniffing this wine is a freshly baked corn muffin cut in half with butter slathered on the sides, actively melting into it. That's followed by the aromas of caramel, vanilla, bruised apple, figs and winter spices. What an enticing, complex nose you have.

My favorite thing about this wine hands-down is the texture. It's got a full body and it's so smooth and silky that it's ridiculous. There's also an acidity pop that adds complexity and isn't out of place among the creaminess of the body.

This is the kind of mouthfeel that I want from a Chardonnay when I buy a Chardonnay expecting a Chardonnay, damnit. Take note, winemakers. Some jerk with a blog demands creamy, buttery Chardonnay.

The palate is more about fruit than the nose's baking ingredients. Tropical fruits like pineapple, mango and banana are there to party hardy with their buddies melon and Granny Smith apple. But there's caramel and vanilla too, of course. Just like their lower tiered Chardonnay, the butter is more of the saltyish movie-theater kind.

The finish is spicy. And by that I mean it flairs up with hot cinnamon like a mini-Fireball.

The fruit flavors and baking spice characteristics of this Chardonnay would make it absolutely amazing with any kind of pie that suits your fancy. But pecan pie? Shut up and take my money.

This Chard makes me happy. There's not too much of anything. You're not biting into a 2x4 and you're not drinking a can of pineapple or sweet pear juice. And it doesn't leave you wanting more of something else.

The L.A. Cetto Private Reserve Chardonnay isn't even available in Massachusetts. The one distributor that deals with L.A. Cetto here doesn't offer this particular item from them. But, to be completely honest, this would be my #3 suggestion for Chardonnay in the $17-20 price range if I could carry it. My #1 is Scott Family Chardonnay and my #2 is Matchbook Arsonist Chardonnay. If you've never had either one of those: they are both brilliant and they're both from California.

So yeah, I'd say those boys down in Mexico can hang.

Price: $17
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended.
(what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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