The Springwood Chardonnay 2015 is a $4.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive, sourced from vineyards in the Murray Darling region of Australia. The Murray River and the Darling River are the 2 main rivers in the area, which is located east of Adelaide and north of Melbourne. It is a hot, dry growing region that depends on the rivers for irrigation. They have been producing wine here since the 1880s and the region is also known for growing fruit and citrus. Trader Joe’s mentions that the Springwood is a moderately oaky Chardonnay and that it underwent malolactic fermentation. Most Chardonnay priced around five bucks are wines with minimal manipulation, quickly made, easy to drink, young wines, but here we have oak influence and malolactic which is a little unexpected in the price range. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a very pale wheat yellow. The nose is ripe apple, light lemon, a little pear and vanilla with a floral edge. This is a bright Chardonnay with a mix of soft fruit and tart citrus. It starts with grapefruit, creamy pear, apple and melon. The mid-palate adds a blend of apricot, lemon cream and lime. There is good acidity, maybe a touch too strong, but nothing that will not balance out with food. The finish mirrors the body of the wine and the acidity helps propel it for quite some time.
The Springwood Chardonnay 2015 is a pretty good picnic Chardonnay, get some cold fried chicken, some potato salad and you well have a happy little meal. I am always surprised, 6 or 7 years ago a 5 dollar probably had something wrong with, odd flavors, out of balance, not a great drinking experience. But today, a $5 wine can rock a meal or be pleasantly sipped while sitting on a blanket at an outdoor concert. The Springwood is not an “Oh wow, this is awesome” Chardonnay, but it is a very well priced and a very useful Chardonnay.