Cambria Katharine’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009

First of all, the grand poobahs of the wine review establishment (you know who you are) need to get off their collective tushes and take a stand on high alcohol.  Maybe they’re for it; maybe they like getting drunk on table wine that is essentially fortified and an inch away from spirits.  Or maybe they don’t.  And if they don’t they should have a system, say points lost for high alcohol since they’re so headstrong about points.  How about, for white wine, a one point demerit for every percentage point over 14 per cent alcohol?  It will never happen because in the big leagues they are part of an industry, not a living human being enjoying wine.  We are however after-tax-paying-wine-customers, actually why the industry exists, and as with many wine drinkers we’re partial to quality wines under 14 per cent which are, at least in North America amongst the wine cognoscenti, out of fashion.


The Cambria was a dupe.  You will need a magnifying glass to ascertain the alcohol content on the Cambria.  It’s in about a four point font and, even more irritating, it’s vertical.  But I will save you the hassle of figuring out whether it’s 14.4, 14.5, 14.8: It’s a whopping 14.6%.  I mean you might as well call it sherry.


OK, all that aside, this is a perfectly lovely everyday chardonnay.  It has good balance, is quite buttery and has a complimentary citrus bite.  Although not deep on the finish it has a wonderful typically chardonnay character on the palate and, in terms of flavour, it was oaky but restrained, just plain old good drinking.


With food (carrot, dill, feta risotto) it was a surprisingly good foil, especially when my go-to wine with that dish is a Sauv Bl.  I would say “highly recommended” except for the alcohol content which is, given how many exceptional California chards there are at 13.5 per cent or less, over-the-top and not in a good way.


Price: $18.50 USD, not available in BC (although their pinot can be found in private stores for $42).


Market Liquidity: Basically a semi-automatic when a simple revolver would have done the trick.

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