The 2010 Benefactor Cellars South Eastern Australia Chardonnay is a Trader Joe’s exclusive selling for $4.99. This is a Negociant wine, which means this is an unnamed Wineries excess wine is purchased and re-labeled by a 3rd party. That is a very common practice through out the wine world and if the Negociant has ties with quality wineries, you can get a good bottle of wine for much cheaper than the Winery itself would sell it. There is currently a wine glut in Australia, so the quality of wine that is available to a Negociant’s should be pretty good. As with all Negociant wines and most of Trader Joe’s wines, the information on who made the wine and how it was made is unavailable. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is extremely pale apple juice. The nose is apple, lemon, magnolia blossom, orange zest and a touch of honey. The flavor is a tasty mixture of fresh fruit and tart citrus, juicy apple, with a light touch of butter starts it off, followed by grapefruit and lime. Lemon, peach and pear show up on the mid-palate. There is a healthy dose of well balanced acidity and the finish (mostly tart citrus) is light but lingers on for some time.
The Benefactor Cellars South Eastern Australia Chardonnay is a very solid bottle of wine for 5 bucks. Not particularly complex, but not too simple either and a $5 wine that is tasty enough and balanced enough to pair with food is not that easy to find. It might not be your favorite Chardonnay in the world, but it is in the running as your favorite 5 buck Chardonnay.