2007 Castoro Cellars Chardonnay – not too bad (86 pts., $9.99)

    2007 Castoro Cellars Chardonnay, Central Coast

    OUT OF100
    more wine
    VERDICT: "Alrighty then"
    Central Coast
    Chardonnay, 13.0% alc.
    $9.99 (Trader Joe's)

    We’re working the Trader Joe’s wine shelves here. So don’t shoot for the moon. It’s about value and decent wines, with some very good ones in there too. You just need to know where to look and it’s getting trickier; the shelf space allocated to wines at TJ’s is growing. Surprisingly, the department was once crammed into a crowded corner in one location in San Jose, but now has expanded and finally has room to breathe. I’ll give some more updates and wine buying tips and selections in the coming months.

    For now, here’s another good example of the sweet spot. Not dirt cheap, but pretty close, especially by Napa Chardonnay standards. At $9.99 it represents strong value. I wasn’t expecting much, and was half-reluctant to even serve it to company, but in the end I took that leap. Wow, that’s living.

    Castoro Cellars’ slogan is “dam fine wine”. Well, I’d say this was perhaps pretty “darn fine”. Maybe not “dam”, yet. But darn for now.

    It has a fairly creamy finish, with butter. So if you’re into the new California Chardonnays, this is probably not going to do it for you, but it’s still refreshing and not overly buttery. There was just enough tannin to keep it from being too “juicy” or flabby. So it would hold up well with, say, Salmon, or a summer salad.

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