Whenever I need a Chardonnay that needs to be spot on, I almost always pick a Kendall Jackson. If you don’t know much about Kendall Jackson, check out my review of their Vintners Reserve Chardonnay here. I was making salmon for dinner so I wanted a very well balanced Chardonnay. I finally decided on the Kendall Jackson 2010 Avant Chardonnay.
The Kendall Jackson 2010 Avant Chardonnay comes in at 13.5% alcohol. The wine was had partial neutral oak aging as well as partial malolatic fermentation to round out the palette. The bottle we had was in good condition with no cork issues. We chilled it to 45 degrees and used stemless white wine glasses for tasting the wine. Upon opening, the bottle released a heady perfume of pear and tropical fruits. The wine was a lovely clear lemon yellow.
The Kendall Jackson 2010 Avant Chardonnay has a nose full of pear, tropical fruits, butter and nuts. The first taste backs up the notes in the nose with the addition of Meyer lemon, green apple, and a touch of oak. My husband said it warmed his belly like whiskey.
With the Salmon, the citrus and the apple took center stage becoming very fruit forward in style. The green beans brought out all the pear in the wine. We didn’t have a dessert to pair with it, but I am sure it would be an excellent match for carrot cake! As the wine opened up, the lemon became the center of the nose and flavor, laced with butter, vanilla, and nuts.
All in all, I enjoyed the wine. It’s a great balanced style with both fruit and oak. My husband prefers more fruit forward styles with very little oak so on the standard Wine Spectator scale, he gave it an 88. I’m giving it a rating of 89-90 depending on the pairing with your meal. Alone, it’s an 89 for me but with the right pairing, I’d give it 90 or higher.