The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 is a $9.99 Aldi exclusive wine, and it is part of a line of wines aged in bourbon barrels and wine barrels. Aldi owns the Quarter Cut name trademark, but according to the California COLA website, the wine is produced by Fetzer of Hopland, California.
Fetzer has a history of working with bourbon barrels for wine. The interior of oak barrels are flamed; with wine barrels, they are toasted, and with whisky, they are charred. The oak gives off different levels of flavors in proportion as to how the wood is flamed.
Toasted barrels have a milder influence with vanilla, mocha, and chocolate, and charred barrels give more intense caramelized flavors and spice. Bourbon has at least a 40% alcohol level, and intense flavors are needed to balance the intensity of the bourbon.
When a bourbon barrel is used in the production of wine, an oak barrel is used for most of the aging process, with an oak bourbon barrel added at the latter stages to “finish” the wine. Bourbon barrels are more commonly used with bold red wines, better matching the more robust bourbon barrel flavor.
The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 needs a gentle hand applying bourbon barrels; too robust flavors can overpower a White wine. The producer has extensive experience finishing wine with whisky barrels, so I expect them to get it right.
Without technical production notes from Aldi or the producer, we are limited with what we know about this wine. I admit in advance of not being a fan of bourbon Barrel-aged wine, though I have sampled some that I thought were excellent. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 Tasting Notes
The nose is a shiny golden yellow. The nose is very different from traditionally aged Chardonnay; there are scents of lemon, creme brulee, caramel apple, French vanilla, Anjou pear, and spice. The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 does have a strong oak influence; it is creamy with rounded fruit and citrus flavors.
This Chardonnay tastes like a ripe apple, vanilla custard, lime, lemon curd, and spice. The mid-palate brings a salty sensation, peach, nectarine, and butterscotch (not sweet). The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 is a very different take on California Chardonnay while still recognizable as California Chardonnay.
The acidity is balanced, and this wine has a pronounced and long finish.
- The Quarter Cut Bourbon Barrel Chardonnay 2019 is a well-made, intersting wine that is well worth a try.
- It is unique and does have loads of flavor.