California; 14.5% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 4 Dec
The 2011 Whiplash Chardonnay (label similar to the red “Redemption”) has been around for about a month, but this vintage showed up just recently. You can see that the label is totally different, but the bottle itself is also completely different: a heavier and Burgundy-style bottle instead of a lighter and Bordeaux-style bottle. I haven’t tried the 2011 bottling, so maybe others can weigh in on how these two wines compare.
My immediate impression of this wine is of a tasty, full-bodied, California Chardonnay. On closer examination, though, behind that full body, the flavors — of ripe yellow apple, a little lemon, some white melon rind, and oak — are a bit clunky, not very well integrated, and really only at the higher end of Drinkable. However, the wine is dense enough that it could well be better the next day.
And, the next day, it is indeed much better, with more integrated and delineated flavors of ripe yellow apple, ripe lemon / maybe yellow grapefruit, cantaloupe, and oak. (Of the “mango, papaya, and ripe peach” touted by the back label, I think “papaya” is the best description of what I called “cantaloupe”.) Although it’s still full-bodied for a white, and the fruit is ripe, there is plenty of acid to balance. It turns out this is actually pretty good wine for the money. Thumbs Up!