Texas Chardonnay?

Don't let the wine police scare you away!

Want Texas Wine? Check!
Want a nice cold white wine? Check!
Do you crave a Chardonnay? Check!

Chardonnay has gone through a tough patch with all sorts of wine aficionados, especially folks like sommeliers and wine critics. You know, folks who drink lots of free wine. Initially, these intelligentsia were aghast that consumers would want to drink Chardonnays when they "ought to" drink wines no one has heard of or could pronounce like Malagouzia or Rkatsiteli. Chardonnay was suddenly so out of favor that all sorts of super-trendy types that wear Mark Wong Nark dresses and see-through sandals were employing extreme vocal frying to let their bartender know that they would accept A, B, and C … anything but Chardonnay.

Martha and Alphonse Dotson of Certenberg Vineyards (Photo courtesy of Margaret Shugart at The Wine Roads of Texas)

Well, that leaves more for us. And the good news is you can get a darn good Texas version these days. Which in itself is fairly amazing because several loud adversaries made strong counter claims, demanding that no good Chardonnay could be made in Texas’s harsh climate. Luckily, a few bold souls like Ed Auler at Fall Creek, Alphonse Dotson at Certenberg Vineyards, and the team at Llano Estacado, led by winemaker Greg Bruni, have proven them entirely wrong.

Amongst these makers, the highest recommendations go to Llano Estacado's Cellar Reserve Chardonnay ($20), Fall Creek’s Certenberg Vineyards Texas Hill Country Chardonnay ($46 and quite rare) or Vintner’s Reserve ($22).

Greg Bruni, Executive Winemaker and Jason Centanni, Winemaker of Llano Estacado Winery (Photo courtesy of Hailey Rotenberry at Llano Estacado Winery)

If you want a less expensive quaffing Chardonnay, large winemakers like Fall Creek and Llano Estacado often have to buy grapes from other states during tough years, so they are usually honest and will stipulate them as American wine, not Texas wine. So if you want to stick with a local, homegrown product, two other magnificent and dependable Texas whites come in the form of Kim McPherson’s Les Copains White ($18) and the always delicious Duchman Vermentino ($15).

The team at McPherson Wines, Kim McPherson on right (Photo courtesy of the Winery)
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