The StoryThe Pico Viejo Reserva Chardonnay 2019 is a $7.99 ALDI exclusive sourced from grapes grown in vineyards located in the Uco Valley of Argentina. The Uco Valley is not actually a valley, it is high plains that butt up against the Andes Mountains.The Uco Valley is one of the best growing regions in Argentina, think of it sort of like Sonoma County in reputation, though there isn't a direct comparison. The vineyards are situated about 3,500 feet up the foothills and are subject to a great deal of sunshine, there are only about 10 inches of rainfall a year.There is a long growing season, with plenty of sunlight, and a wide differential between daytime temperatures and nighttime temps that grapes seem to thrive on. While the Uco Valley is primarily known for producing Malbec, it should also be able to grow excellent Chardonnay.The term Reserva in the name does not have any legal significance. In places such as Rioja in Spain Reserva is an actual wine category designation. But for the most part, is used by wineries or brands to differentiate between different wines in their portfolio. The meaning can differ from winery to winery.This Chardonnay was aged in oak barrels for 4 months. Which is long enough to impart some oak flavoring, but not long enough to add too much time to the aging process, this is a 2019 vintage. Argentina has its summer and winter reversed from the US, so a 2019 vintage drink-it-now wine had plenty of time to come together.ALDI named the winemaker on the front label, but I did a Google search and didn't come up with anything, at least anything in English. The alcohol content is 13%.Pico Viejo Reserva Chardonnay 2019 Tasting NotesThe color is a pale sunshine yellow. The nose is lemons and apples, a little spice, some coconut, a bit of creamy vanilla, and a light floral edge. This is a Chardonnay that favors citrus over fruit and has a very balanced acidity.It tastes of lemon/lime (not sweet) green apple, grapefruit, and guava. The mid-palate adds ripe peach, nectarine, vanilla, a salty sensation, and blood orange. The acidity gives the flavors plenty of room to unfold.The SummaryPhoto by Manuel Venturini on Unsplash The Pico Viejo is a solid Chardonnay, it is well worth its $7.99 price tag.It has plenty of interesting flavors, excellent acidity, and it is very well priced.ALDI's wine section is often a complete mess, it looks thrown together, but whoever is buying their wines is doing a very commendable job.
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