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Franciscan Chardonnay: More value than ever

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

When big Napa Valley name-brand estate wines start getting close to the $10 level, it is grounds for a double-take.  One of those consistently on the value watch list is Franciscan’s Estate Chardonnay.  That’s right, a well-known estate wine on the cheap.Franciscan Napa Chardonnay

Total Wine is now offering it for $11.99 at the Tempe store (and surely other locations as well).  But what makes the $11.99 price stand out is that Fry’s has it at $18.99 and BevMo recently dropped it to $14.99.  Such a deal @ TW!

Sure, Total Wine may be moving out their 2012’s to clear some shelf space for Franciscan’s recently released 2013 vintage, but it really doesn’t matter.  Franciscan is so consistent year after year that there is very little to be gained from noting the differences from one vintage to another at this price level.

This consistency is no accident.  Franciscan’s winemaker, Janet Myers, has been in charge of evolving Franciscan’s base of wines since 2005 and the pride shows.  So why charge only $11.99 for one of these babies?  Maybe it’s market realities or something else.  Regardless, time to snap ‘em up for holiday festivities or whatever else is in the works.

You can be promised plenty of pear, melon, and a tad of honey on the bouquet followed by a body of crisp oak, and a long crème brûlée finish that is California Chard all the way.  It’s perfect for anyone who demands a Chardonnay with appetizers and seafood (especially crab w/drawn butter).

Be sure to serve chilled after 60-90 minutes in the fridge.  This one follows has the same “warm up morph” bouquet pattern as with most quality Chardonnays, and changes in the glass in an interesting way.  Plus, for an outlay that’s under $15, there are not many that can compare with this one.

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About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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