The Sphere Central Coast Chardonnay 2017 is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. The Central Coast AVA runs along California coast just north of Los Angeles to San Francisco. The only information we have on this Chardonnay is what is written on the back label, which luckily is informative. It says there is a decadent amount of cream and butter along with baked apple. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks, underwent malolactic fermentation, and was then aged in oak barrels. Those are all things you do not normally find in $6.99 Chardonnay. Oak barrels add a significant cost to the wine production and while Trader Joe’s contract wines have cost savings from regular retail wines, you just don’t see sub-$10 wines talking about decadent cream in butter for the flavor profile. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The Tasting Notes
The color is butter yellow. The nose is melon, lemon, peach, pear, apple, a little vanilla, a touch of spice, and a floral edge, it certainly isn’t aroma challenged. This Chardonnay is medium-bodied with a mix of soft fruit and tart citrus. It tastes of peach, lemon, and vanilla. The mid-palate adds grapefruit, creamery butter, a salty cashew sensation, apple, and Anjou pear. The acidity is well-balanced, you don’t get all that flavor without the structure that lets the various tastes unfold. The finish is fairly full and does last awhile.
- The Sphere Central Coast Chardonnay 2017 has flavor and structure that belies it’s 7 buck price point.
- Yes, Trader Joe’s and other shops that deal in contract wine can sell wine several dollars cheaper than retail shops. But, this is a solid drink-it-now everyday wine, regardless of the price.
- I am not fond of Chardonnay that is top-heavy with cream and butter, but with the Sphere, the cream and butter are applied with a light touch, it is one of the flavors but never overpowers.