The Eris Carneros Chardonnay 2014 is a $7.99 (this time around) Trader Joe’s exclusive that the front label says is Estate grown from a winery located on the Napa side of the Carneros AVA in Northern California. Carneros is half in Sonoma and half in Napa and has a southern border on the San Pablo Bay (just north of the San Francisco Bay). A quick check of the internet showed that Trader Joe’s was selling this exact wine for $14 in the last quarter of 2016 and now in the tail end of 2018 it has popped up for almost half the price. So, this is kind of odd an wine, there is a 2 year gap in sales and there is a very well-respected Napa Carneros winery who had a line of wine named Eris that was discontinued around this time. Maybe that means something, maybe that doesn’t, but Eris is an odd name for a wine since Eris was the god of war, strife, and discord, not exactly the image most wines are going for. Other than the back label saying this Chard was estate bottled there is not much information available. So, maybe this Chardonnay has some connection with a well-known Carneros winery and maybe it doesn’t, but all is not lost since a typical Chardonnay from this region starts at about $25 and goes up and I only have $7.99 invested in a wine Carneros Chardonnay with a nice bit of bottle age. The alcohol content is a ripe 14.5%.
The color shows a deeper golden yellow that you get from Chardonnay that was aged in oak barrels. The nose smells expensive, it has those mellowed aromas that only time and oak can bring to a Chardonnay, there is apple, stone fruit, orange blossom honey, pear, lemon, melon, and toasty vanilla. This is a Chardonnay that has smooth flavors followed by a few tart sensations. It tastes of crisp apple, lemon curd, melon, soft grapefruit, and pear all covered with non-sweet honey. The mid-palate adds peach, vanilla, a touch of butter, and lime. The acidity is balanced enough to allow this Chard to work as both a sipping wine and a food wine. The finish is pretty bold and fairly long.
The Eris Carneros Chardonnay 2014 at $7.99 is a no-brainer, it isn’t as flavorful and bright as I prefer my Chardonnay to be, but if you want a try a Carneros Chard the price is definitely right. I must admit I didn’t give this Chardonnay a great deal of time to “open up”, so maybe in an hour from now this might be the most amazing 8 buck Chardonnay I have tasted. But even without the extra time the Eris is a wine well worth checking out.