2009 JAQK Cellars Pearl Handle Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, CA $4.99

Portland/Hollywood    14.3% alc.    (Purchased on 3/1/14)

I visited this southeast Portland GO last weekend and walked in to an unexpected wine and cheese tasting.  I was there for almost two hours and the place was packed the entire time.  Manny, the wine steward poured about a dozen different wines.  I also met blog reader and regular commenter JWC there.  When Manny discovered we were there, he opened a few more bottles…most notably the Echelon RRV Pinot Noir (much discussed on the blog) and this Chardonnay.

It just so happened that I met a woman and her daughter at the GO who were there to buy the 3 Blind Moose Chardonnay I reviewed…for daughter’s wedding.  But then Manny showed them and recommended the JAQK Chardonnay.  He wanted us all to taste it.  For a dollar more it’s far more complex and definitely more oaky…perhaps the better wedding wine.  Who really knows what a general audience might prefer?  Might even want to move the wedding up north because this same wine is currently selling for $3.99 here in Silverdale (which I discovered when I got home.  If you happen to read this, wedding ladies…please let me know what happened!

IMG_1428Oh, yeah!  The wine.  In a heavy, clear punt Bordeaux bottle (generally odd for Chardonnay).  Brilliant, fairly deep golden color.  First whiff says toasty oak with subdued fruit and citrus.  In the mouth, it’s soft and lush, yet with decent tangy acidity;  there are some enjoyable mango and banana flavors that are nicely integrated with the bitter almond oak notes.  Fairly lengthy finish shows Meyer lemon and more balanced oak, but also some aged roasted grain flavors.  Very tasty, but the slightly deeper golden color and roasted grain qualities suggest not to cellar it for long.

By the way…kudos to Manny for adeptly handling the crowd at the tasting and for opening a few extra bottles for us to taste.  My only suggestion…supply a dump bucket, so folks don’t feel the necessity to finish all their pours (particularly if they don’t like a certain wine or if they’ve already had enough).  And kudos as well to JWC for driving the extra miles to meet with me…and for bringing me a bottle of Neyers Chardonnay from GO that appeared last year (I believe)…that he so wanted me (the ABC guy) to try.  I’ll certainly share my thoughts with you when I open it.  Thanks again, JWC!  It was a real pleasure meeting you.


11 thoughts on “2009 JAQK Cellars Pearl Handle Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, CA $4.99

      1. BargainWhine

        Sure. I can organize. Anyone else near Berkeley want in? IMO, you need to have already commented, ideally regularly. I will also invite DLuber.

          1. Darrell

            I tend to play weekend warrior at times, so if BW establishes a time on a weekend that isn’t right for me, that’s OK.

  1. palfrey12

    It’s remarkable how the physical necessity of tasting in the oenosphere brings the blogosphere down to earth, causing people to meet people in the ‘real’ sphere. Another health benefit of wine!

    1. lim13 Post author

      Couldn’t possibly have said it any better myself, palfrey. Nice job! And what geographical area of “the blogosphere” are you from? Any chance we might ever meet?

      1. seedboy

        I’ve been thinking it would be fun for all of the Oakland/Berkeley/Richmond shoppers to get together somewhere some time.

      2. jwc

        Lim13, it was fun hanging out with you as well, I hit the Tanasbourne GO on the west side,
        and they were also having a tasting event. Picked up some of the Reserve Covey Run Syrah, Echelon RRV pinot noir and more of the Lunatic Luna white blend. None of the chard just yet, as they don’t have it on the shelves. Very nice meeting you, and we’ll have to do it again!


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