The Hwy 5 Chardonnay 2020 is a $4.99 Aldi wine sourced from vineyards in California. The back label says this wine was produced by a company located in Modesto, California. That typically indicates that some entity of E & J Gallo had a hand in the production.
There is no technical production information available for this Chardonnay; the back label mentions vanilla and wood shavings scents. This would indicate some oak conditioning and says flavors of ripe fruit and not citrus, which may signify malolactic fermentation. These are all positive signs for a sub-5 buck White wine.
Hwy 5 runs from Mexico to Canada, not far from the Pacific coastline, and it passes through much of California’s wine-producing regions.
One detail that did catch my eye was the alcohol content of 12.5%. In this era of global warming, California Chardonnay often reaches 13.5% to 14.5%, the warmer extended summers produce very ripe grapes. A 12.5% alcohol content is more in-line with Chardonnay from France or California wines ten or fifteen years ago.
Since I do not have any other information to provide, the tasting portion will give us all the information we need.
The Hwy 5 Chardonnay 2020 tasting Notes
The color is a pale wheat yellow. The nose is lemon, pear, apple, lime, peach, coconut, stone fruit, with a light floral edge. The Hwy 5 Chardonnay 2020 has some oak flavors, surprising for $4.99 wine, there is butter and vanilla in the flavor profile with fruit and citrus.
This Chardonnay tastes like buttercream, lemon, green apple, pear, and a splash of lime. The mid-palate brings tart grapefruit and nectarine.
At first, I thought the oak flavors (buttercream) were out of balance. I had grabbed the bottle directly out of the refrigerator and twisted the top, and poured a glass. My first sip did not show this Chardonnay at its best. When the wine warmed up a bit and the flavor expanded, this $4.99 Chardonnay came into its own.
- The Hwy 5 Chardonnay 2020 is a tasty, no-issues Chardonnay. I like it better than I though I would.
- There was a time when a very inexpensive wine that was an enjoyable drinking experience was an unexpected treat. Today, I have come to expect a five buck wine to be very drinkable.