2011 Whiplash California Chardonnay $4.99

Silverdale, WA    13.9% alc.   (Purchased on 2/25/14)

IMG_1415This wine has been around at my GO for quite a while, but I couldn’t pull the trigger.  It’s all a matter of timing.  Brilliant medium golden color.  Slightly closed nose shows more fruit than oak (which I like); spiced apple and banana aromas.  In the mouth it’s soft and silky, yet shows excellent citrusy acidity; flavors are somewhat a conundrum in that I’m getting the typically varietal tropical fruit flavors of more banana, mango and pineapple, but also the unexpected stone fruit flavors of apricot and peach.  Quite tasty.

BW reviewed the 2010 version of this wine (with different label) here.  I find some descriptor similarities, particularly in BW’s second day perceptions and that vintage’s back label notes indicating “mango, papaya, and ripe peach” (which doesn’t appear on the back label of this vintage).  Maybe the labels were inadvertently switched?  : ~)  Anyway, this is a version of Chardonnay that I could find enjoyable on a somewhat regular basis.  Apparently Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast enjoyed it too.  And while he cites the price at $14, other web sites show it at an average of $10.  Five bucks at my WA state GO is a darn good price.  Tried this one, flitcraft?  Seems like it might be right up your alley.


10 thoughts on “2011 Whiplash California Chardonnay $4.99

  1. Darrell

    Decided to try because of this evaluation and wanted to see what kind of chard lim13 enjoys. It’s nice especially for the price. I do get the banana and other fruity aromas that do leap from the glass and not so closed to me. Just a very slight bitterness for me that doesn’t detract at all.

  2. Rod

    Really enjoyed this with my pan roasted Snapper and vegetables. Acidity spot on for easy drinking. Need to taste it again with out food, to see what other flavors and aromas I can pick up. Found at GO in Placerville, CA

  3. flitcraft

    OK…so I had no intention whatsoever of trying this. I’m practically a charter member of the ABC club, and besides, I stocked up on a whole summer’s worth of whites earlier this year, but then again, lim 13 knows whereof he speaks, and he called me out personally. So what could I do?

    I agree with the review completely–this one isn’t the kind of flabby chardonnay that gives chardonnays a bad name. It has enough sprightly acidity that it can match with food. I would give it a thumbs up, too, But since we bought several bottles of the Robert Oatley chardonnay back during the big sale at 4 dollars, I think I’m at capacity for the limited amount of chardonnay that I need. And with the plentitude of 4 dollar whitesrecently–the Blue Pirate pinot gris, the Lunatic, the Treada–I’m set for even the toastiest of summers.

    Slightly off topic–I saw the Robert Oatley one back in stock again at the Kenmore Go recently, but at 7 dollars rather than the earlier 4 (and then the discount) during the sale. My husband liked it more than I did–it has an odd bitter note in the finish that I couldn’t overlook. It is my least favorite varietal of all of the cavalcade of Robert Oatley wines that I’ve had at GO over the past year or two. But if anyone really liked it, it’s back, albeit at a jacked up price.

    And also off topic–that darned Mia’s Playground pinot noir that originally turned up at 4 bucks and then made a return engagement at 10-12 dollars for the last sale–is now weirdly priced throughout the metro Seattle region–ranging from 12 at Crown Hill to 8 at Kenmore. Dynamic pricing…grrr!

    1. lim13 Post author

      Thanks for “taking the bait”, flitcraft. : ~) Just wanted you to try it, so I could get your read on it. I feel your pain in regard to having to “say when” in terms of the ol’ wine cellar. As I’ve said on countless occasions, I’m waaaay overstocked and constantly fighting compulsion. I bought no more of the Whiplash either…but it was tough. I’ve got all the whites you mentioned in my cellar too. Thanks for checking back.

      1. flitcraft

        Oh, and I didn’t even mention two more 4 dollar whites–the Lake and Vine Sauvignon Blanc and the Vertikal Ausleses. It’s been an embarrassment of riches in the cheap white department recently in comparison to reds…

  4. lim13 Post author

    I’ve had numerous Chardonnays over the last 40 years with slight banana aromas and flavors…particularly from WA state…they’ve all cellared just fine. Though this does not strike me as a wine to cellar anyway. It’s fruity and youthful and meant to be consumed now.

  5. seedboy

    When I read about a wine having banana odor and flavor, that sounds like volatile acidity to me (ethyl acetate is the chemical that produces those odors and flavors). If I’m right, don’t hold this very long.

    1. Darrell

      SB, you have the right idea but are off by three C’s or carbons. the strong banana odor is from another ester, amyl acetate or pentyl acetate. It is generally found in fermentation bouquet when a wine is young and makes a white appealing, but this usually blows over in short order and doesn’t linger long on aging. I have been fooled by young chardonnays due to fresh and fruity fermentation bouquet and have been disappointed by the aged wine after the that bouquet is gone. When you make wine vinegar, you can smell the ethyl acetate stage easily or from nail polish remover also.


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