The 2010 Whispering Valley Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay is an $8.99 Aldi’s exclusive that is currently on close-out for $4.99. The 2009 Whispering Valley Chardonnay was sourced from the Delle Venezie growing region of northeast Italy, not Napa Valley, California. Aldi’s does not provide much information concerning this bottle, such as who made it and how, but the back label does provide some clues. It describes this Chardonnay as having “ aromas and flavors of vanilla, pear, toasty oak and spices that lead to a creamy finish.” Vanilla, toasty oak and spices would normally indicated that it was aged with oak, either in barrel or with oak chips or staves added to the stainless steel tanks. Pear, as the main flavor, would show that the wine under went malolactic fermentation, which reduces acidity and changes tart tasting acid to more rounded, sweeter tasting acid. And, the creamy finish would suggest the wine was aged “on lees” (all the grape residue and dead yeast are left with the juice during aging). But, I am going off of one sentence written by the Marketing department, so all that is just a guess. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is shiny, clear, golden yellow. The nose is apples and butter, Anjou pear and melon, along with a bit of vanilla. This is a smooth, mellow, slightly creamy Chardonnay and it does not show a lot of oak influence in the flavor profile, a touch of vanilla, a little spice, but all in all there was a light touch with whatever oak was used. It tastes of pears mixed with Del Monte Cling peaches, butter, unsweetened pineapple and cantaloupe. The acidity is balanced and the finish IS creamy, they weren’t fooling.
The Whispering Valley Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay is a laid back, mellow Chard and is an absolute steal at $4.99. It was a pretty decent Chardonnay at $8.99, but at its sale price it brings in Chardonnay characteristics that you never ever see at the sub 5 buck range. The creamy finish alone is worth $4.99, everything you get above and beyond that is like drinking for free.