Sunday, June 24, 2012

Truchard Carneros Napa Valley 2008 Chardonnay

Truchard Carneros Napa Valley 2008 Chardonnay, $18.90-$25.50, 86 points was a big disappointment for me, and I tend to think that there was a problem with this bottle, though there was no apparent cork anomalies, the aroma struck me immediately as odd, with burnt butterscotch and vanilla with a definite Brussels-sprout note. I bought this at the Londonderry Hannaford's super market, and if anyone else had this problem I'd appreciate hearing from you.
The answer maybe to just find a more recent vintage and give it a taste.
The color was clear with golden hues.
The body is light-plus, and carried good acidity.
The flavor reflected the aroma including the Brussels-sprouts, and was carried into the finish.
The QPR is poor, but the caveat is the possible bad-bottle (I thought I was getting a deal).


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  1. How odd that you got the burnt butterscotch note on both Truchards. I haven't had their Chardonnay in a while (never had the Rousanne) but I recall it generally being very lush with tropical/pineapple notes and a pretty generous kiss of oak. Perhaps someone has gotten a bit too heavy-handed with the oak.

    Not sure where the vegetal/Brussels sprout flavors came from, either. I'd say that's more of a bad bottle thing than a stylistic thing (like the butterscotch).

    This was one of my absolute go-to wineries in the late 90s. Loved the Chard and Pinot but the Syrah was my favorite.

    1. Bill, I went to the largest wine store in NH today to see if I could get another vintage; nope! I also went to the store I bought this from and even asked friendly wine shoppers if they had tried this wine; nope! You said: "Perhaps someone has gotten a bit too heavy-handed with the oak." That's possible. At the wine shop there was a review of this wine with a score of 87 points, and usually the store puts-up the best score they can advertise, so I'm wondering if it's just me or the wine itself. As for the Syrah, I think we have in the past agreed that it is a fine wine, and I've had at least two vintages of it.

  2. Hi Dennis,

    I also tried to enter this comment on your blog but it just wouldn't let me. You probably blocked me :) or maybe you review posts first, I don't remember. Anyhow here is my comment.


    It is my opinion that the bottles you reviewed were cooked (not corked, which is a whole other wine flaw). You may not have noticed a protruding or recessed cork but that doesn't mean it couldn't have moved out slightly with heat and then contracted again or been pushed back in. The burnt and vegetal flavors and aromas combined with over-the-top acidity, no fruit, and lack of color all point to cooked wine. Although your wine is an extreme example of heat damage, unfortunately people drink partially cooked wine that has not been entirely destroyed by heat, and do not know the difference - they just think it's poorly made wine. I can understand that being in New Hampshire it seems unlikely, but somewhere between the vineyard and your table, this wine was severely abused with heat.

    Best regards,

    David Boyer

    1. David, Thanks for you comments.
      I have heard that as much as 12% of wine is spoiled in one way or another; I've been fortunate to have had as few as three or four, and ironically I'll be doing another review with that caveat shortly; with the posting of the wine, I do hope to hear from anyone who may have had a similar experience.
      I don't stop anyone from commenting on this blog, nor do I review them, but Google sometimes won't let me comment either.
      David, thanks again for e-mailing this.

  3. Yep. Cooked. I've never had brussel sprout aromas in anything but cooked wine. It happens.

    Truchard is a pretty legendary vineyard. I've only had Syrah & Merlot from it & both were great.

    1. Legendary, I agree, but somewhere along the line spoilsville!
      Won't stop me from trying their other wines though.