The Expo Russian River Chardonnay 2015 is a $9.99 custom private label wine found at Whole Foods. The custom winery that produced the Expo Chard specializes in more upscale private label wine, here the grapes are sourced from the Russian River Valley AVA (Sonoma County, California) one of the elite Chardonnay growing areas in California and the label is artist designed, it looks very much at home with the other regular retail wines on the store shelves. The Russian River AVA is one of the elite growing regions in America, its boundary starts about 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and it has an ideal climate for growing grapes that thrive in a cool climate. Cool nights and mornings, then warm afternoons, giving the grapes a continual cycle of heat up, then cool down which leads to a long full growing season. Russian River wine does not normally sell for $9.99, unless it is a custom label wine and then you will occasionally see wine in this price range. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a pale golden yellow, with Chardonnay some of its color may come from contact with oak barrels. The nose is pretty, ripe fruit and citrus, along with flowers and light spice. This Chardonnay has a full mouthfeel with rounded fruit flavors and bright acidity. It tastes of a stew of melon, apple, lemon, pear, peach, and lime, a very pleasing swirl of flavors. The mid-palate brings tropical fruit, orange zest, and tart grapefruit followed by a touch of cream. The acidity is solid, this is a food wine. The finish is bold and long.
There was a time that if a saw a 10 buck Russian River Chardonnay my first thought would be,” gee, what’s wrong with it?”. Because there was a time when a winery had a problem with a 20 dollar wine they stuck a new label on it and sold it for $10. But, today the value wine market is so competitive that it is no longer a place to hide your mistakes. The Expo Russian River Chardonnay 2015 is a solid Chardonnay, maybe not with the balance and the depth of the more famous Russian River Chards, but it delivers good value at ten dollars. It drinks very well and doesn’t cost much money, that sounds like a winner to me.