2011 Bernier Chardonnay Val de Loire (last of vintage)
A soft, apple-y, ripe wine, this is a broad, fruity and instantly attractive wine. A fine example of cool, unoaked Chardonnay, it's lightly fragrant and crisp on the finish. Screwcap.
Offers gentle melon and pear notes, with a light kiss of brioche on the finish. (Web-2013)
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness. Saveur magazine wrote about a previous vintage: "This value-priced chardonnay tastes crisp and bright. It comes from the western Loire Valley, an unexpected place for this Burgundy grape variety, and is made in a fresh, unoaked style, nothing like the famed (and costly) Burgundy crus. Though unconventional, it's delicious, with fruit flavors that echo pears and apples, and an enticing hint of minerality beneath the surface. It's also a steal at the price."