The StoryThe Sienna Glen Chardonnay 2018 is a $6.99 ALDI exclusive sourced from grapes from more than one California grape growing AVA. This is one of those wines where there isn't much to say. It is a contracted store brand, they rarely give technical details on their wines. The winery that produced the wine, they are located in Mendocino, is an excellent winery, but they made the wine for another company (ALDI's) specifications, it does not really tell us much except a winery that knows what they are doing made the Chardonnay. The back label mentions vanilla as one of the flavors and that would indicate some sort of oak aging, but what? Oak barrel, oak staves or oak chips added to the stainless steel tanks or some other method, we don't know. Every winery and winemaker has their own way of making Chardonnay, it seems no 2 companies make it exactly the same.One thing that is different about the 2018 vintage of the Sienna Glen Chardonnay is they have upgraded the label. In the past they had a pretty basic front label, it basically shouted “inexpensive Chardonnay”. The 2018 label has been improved, while it isn't fancy it would blend right in with retail Chardonnay selling for under $15. That is a trend I have noticed recently, the quality of inexpensive value-priced wines have improved to the point that they need a flashy label to catch your eye, a cheap price alone isn't good enough anymore. The alcohol content is 13.5%.The Tasting NotesThe color is a pale butter yellow. The nose is not shy, lemon, apple, pear, melon, lightly floral, a touch of honey, and a little butterscotch. This is a very fruity Chardonnay, not sweet, just fruit-forward. It starts with ripe apple, lemon, grapefruit, peach, vanilla, and melon. The mid-palate brings dried banana chips, a little spice, and a salty, nutty sensation. The acidity is fine, it does not bite and allows the flavors to unfold. The bold flavors in the body of the Chardonnay run right into the finish, which is full and lengthy.The Summary The Sienna Glen is a solid, fruit-forward Chardonnay. Remember, store contract brands have a significant price advantage when compared to retail brands. You never know how much of the saving the store (in this case ALDI) passes on to the consumer. It is probably at least a couple of bucks, so we should compare this to a Chardonnay closer to ten bucks. If you like your Chardonnay bold, but balanced, without too much oak influence, give the Sienna Gen Chardonnay 2018 a try.
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