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The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 is a wine I found for $7.99 at a local wine shop. Columbia Crest is the second label from Chateau Ste. Michelle is by far the largest wine produced in the Columbia Valley of Washington State.
Though Columbia Crest is a 2nd label it has an excellent history. In 2005, their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon won Wine of the Year out of the thousands of wines they reviewed that year. This may be a value-priced wine but they are known for their quality.
The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 is 100% Chardonnay sourced from several vineyards thru-out the Columbia Valley. They mention Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, and the Wahluke Slope AVA among others.
Columbia Crest combined 2 production techniques in the making of this Chardonnay. 64% of this wine was fermented in oak barrels and underwent malolactic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation occurs routinely in Red wines and is often used with White wines when oak barrels are used.
The other 36% was fermented in Stainless steel vats and saw no malolactic fermentation. No malolactic means the natural tart acid in the grape juice remains. So, about 2/3rds of this Chardonnay is rounded fruit-driven Chardonnay and a. 1/3 is tart citrus-oriented Chardonnay.
Columbia Valley value wines typically are made in a rounded fruit-forward and the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 have a best of both worlds flavor and style. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is light lemon yellow. The nose is lemon, apple, pear, vanilla, and melon, with a light floral edge. The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 is a soft rounded Chardonnay with tart citrus on the mid-palate.
This Chardonnay tastes like a stew of peach, apple, and lime, followed by creamy vanilla, and grapefruit. The mid-palate adds stone fruit, light tangerine, a little orange zest, and nectarine, along with a salty sensation.
The acidity is well-balanced, which allows this wine to have good length.
- The Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2021 is a very solid well-priced Chardonnay.
- The mix of barrel fermented with stainless steel fermentation gives this wine a little personality.
- This is a well-balanced Chardonnay with subtle, tasty flavors.