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The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 is $6.99 at Trader Joe’s. I do not think it is a Trader Joe’s exclusive it looks like it is available at internet wine sellers for between $8 and $12. This Chardonnay is produced by Fior di Sole, a family-owned winery headquartered in Napa. They are the 10th largest winery and California and make 3 and 1/2 million cases of wine.
The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 is listed on Fior di Sole’s website, so it is safe to say they made the Chardonnay. CWF reviewed the 2015 vintage of this wine it was also selling for $6.99 back then. The back label states, “Chardonnay takes the classic oaky-buttery profile to new heights of perfection”.
Chardonnay gets “oaky-buttery” flavors from oak barrels, malolactic fermentation, and battonage (stirring the lees). New oak barrels can cost $1,000 a piece, though the other two are production techniques and not particularly costly. A heavily oak-influenced $6.99 is not easy to make, $40 Chardonnay can afford an excellent oak program, and $7 Chardonnay has little budget for oak barrels.
CWF thought the 2015 Big Churn did an admirable job of providing an old classic California Chardonnay cheaply. Modern Chardonnay back-off on the heavy butter flavor and add a modest amount for additional flavor and texture. So let’s see what the Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 has to offer. The alcohol content is 14%.
The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a clear and shiny golden yellow. The nose is butterscotch, lemon, apple tart pastry, honey, and pickle juice (?), along with peach and pear. The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 has a smooth mouthfeel with a mix of tart and sweeter flavors, though this is not a sweet wine.
The Chardonnay tastes like apples, vanilla cream, pear, dried pineapple, and guava. The mid-palate brings that nutty/salty “on-lees” sensation, a little butter, and peach. The acidity is well-balanced and allows the flavors to unfold.
- The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 is a throwback Chardonnay.
- I had forgotten what old-school California Chardonnay tasted like.
- The Big Churn Chardonnay 2021 has plenty of flavors and does an excellent job of bringing butter without too much butter.