“I don’t like you, but I love you…”

by Katie Pizzuto on December 1, 2010

in Reviews,Wine

(see here for Part 1)

Coupe via Email: My guess is that we had different opinions on the wine…

Me via Email: What the fuck, Lou? We agree while we disagree!…

Coupe: This wine is honestly fucking great. I normally enjoy the oaky, creamy, buttery messes (your description), yet I still loved it. You love the dusty, minerally, no fruit, tastes-like-dirt wines (my description), yet you loved it…

Me: Oh, horse crap, I like fruit in my wine, I just don’t like jam in my wine.

Coupe: Who are you kidding? I read your reviews.


For those that don’t remember (or didn’t even know), Coupe was the winner of our first Gonzo giveaway…a bottle of Bored to Death Chardonnay to review along with me. Coupe (Lou) thought I should include Rocky Balboa’s speech to the Russians about how we’re not all that different, but that’s a whole lotta direction for a first timer. He wants to quote a slur-fest, he can get his own blog. Here, for better or worse, is our he said/she said review of HBO’s Bored to Death Chardonnay. His notes are first, followed by my comments in red italics:

If you are a fan of a crisp, austere, mineral-driven chardonnay made in a Chablis-like manner, my advice is for you to take this bottle, carefully wrap it in a protective towel, take it to a beautiful mountain vista with a loved one, carefully and lovingly unwrap the bottle…and toss it off of the mountain. If you have some sort of incendiary device, attaching it to the bottle for added explosion would be optional. What Lou meant to say was, “If you are a fan of flabby, club-me-over-the-head-with-oak, high-octane chardonnay made in a Cali-like manner” you should toss this off a mountain, but proceed…

Fortunately for me, I do not like my Chardonnays that way (meaning “Chablis-style”, but I do like them that way). In fact I love the tropical fruit aroma that almost punches you in the mouth after pulling the cork—especially if I am not having it with dinner. I like my tropical fruit to tickle, not punch, but that’s just how I roll. This wine was not a one-sense wonder however, as the tropical fruit salad also carried over to the palate where it was joined by what can best be described as a finish of banana cream pie. Dude, lay off the doobage…this is wine, not dessert. This wine is a hedonistic, fun, great sipping wine, that would be even better if drunk while sitting by a pool, or in an indoor pool bar. An indoor pool bar? I must be running in the wrong circles. Though ostensibly a dry wine (holy shit, we agree on something), it was so fruit driven as to have a hint of sweetness to it. It was all I could do to resist sticking a brightly colored umbrella into my wine glass. Is anyone surprised here? Where have all the cowboys gone?! All the while though, I could not put my finger on what the wine reminded me of.

I offered a glass to Mrs. Coupe who was happily sipping a glass of her Chilean cabernet, and who is not a fan of white wines. Grounds for divorce, IMHO. I kid, I kid. She humored me by taking a sip, and then took another. She humored you? Never mind, she’s a keeper. I asked her what she thought and she said that she really liked it. She said it reminded her of a mix of a nice German riesling with a chardonnay, but in a good way. And bam…you know what? She was right. I was now able to put my finger on the taste profile. It had a bit of a Riesling profile, but without the acidity, and with a fuller, richer body. Strangely, at least for me it was a mix that really worked (though I could see some that would really hate this wine). Here’s the rub…I wholeheartedly agree with Mrs. Coupe’s assessment, but not with him. It DID have the acidity of a riesling and the fruit of a chardonnay, hence something like a…dare I say it…Chablis. This wine underwent no malolactic fermentation (which normally makes a chardonnay round bodied and, oftentimes, flabby). It also underwent no oak aging. And still he insists it’s not Chablis-like?!

While not profound, it was a delicious, fun wine—something I enjoyed tremendously. Mrs. Coupe also enjoyed it. She actually put down her cabernet, got out another glass, and poured herself a nice glass of good old Cali chardonnay…compliments don’t come much higher than that. I’ll call this a 92-93 point effort, and one that I really enjoyed. I will seek out more bottles of this maybe from City Winery, though I know they may be tough to find for a novelty bottling like this. I do think it will be worth the effort, however. Ended up at the same hoedown, but took two different horses. I somehow completely disagreed with his take on this being anti-Chablis, and yet I agree that it is a delicious, fun wine. Finding a chardonnay from CA that doesn’t taste like Dole pineapple juice stirred with a 2×4 is a rare cause for glee in my house, and that’s what this wine was—like he said, compliments don’t come much higher than that.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike Cox December 1, 2010

“chardonnay made in a Cali-like manner”

The issue here is not whether we made a few flabby wines or took a few liberties with oak chips…

We did.

But you can’t hold a whole state responsible for the behaviour of a few sick, perverted individuals…
If you do shouldn’t we blame the whole 3 tier system? (I mean retailer stocks what the consumer wants, the wholesaler buys what the retailer orders)

And if the whole 3 tier system is guilty… then isn’t this an indictment of our alcohol institutions in general?

I put it to you, Ms. Pizzuto: Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society?

Well you can do say you want about us but I won’t sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!

All weak attempts at humor aside, the “chardonnay made in a Cali-like manner” needs to be rethought. First off there really is no “California Style”. Never has been. It’s just too diverse out here. Secondly, Oz, the south of France and Italy, and the entire South American continent have had as much to do with the propagation of the “flabby, club-me-over-the-head-with-oak, high-octane chardonnay” style. Now granted, there are plenty of big behemoth wine co’s out there churning out the same swill under a dozen different labels each, but there are enough good wines out there if you look a bit deeper. Always have been. And the worm is turning and so more continue to come.


2 Katie Pizzuto December 1, 2010

LMAO, i agree mike, fuck em all…including that damned 3-tiered system because despite your humor, ther’s a lot of truth there. The industry makes what the consumer demands…or at least the short-sided end of the industry does. I know i generalize, but the majority of CA wine does fall in that category and i am not willing to shell out thirty bucks to find out if a wine is the “exception to the rule” though i know they are out there (i give them props here when i come across one). All bullshit aside, this was an unexpectedly terrific wine.


3 Cox December 2, 2010

>i am not willing to shell out thirty bucks to find out if a wine is the “exception to the rule” though

Agreed – and that’s why I prowl the wine blogs…

>I thought you were Pre-Med?

What’s the difference?


4 Dean Wormer December 3, 2010

You’re not walking out
on this one, mister.
You’re finished.
No more Delta!
You’ve bought it this time, buster!
I’m calling your national office!
I’m going to revoke your charter!
(National anthem plays)
If you wise guys try one more thing…
One more, I’ll kick you out of this college!
No more fun of any kind!


5 Coupe 60 December 1, 2010

I thought you were Pre-Med?


6 Coupe 60 December 1, 2010

This has to be the best written blog entry in quite some time on GG….and I stand by the fact that there was not a lot of acidity to this wine…and it did not taste like a Chablis… Neither the Gallo 4L variety nor the Pierre Le Dirt Burgundian variety….Actually as I think about it, it may remind me of a nice Torrontes…


7 Phil Oxera December 2, 2010


Bit of a popcorn moment there….which might go well with the wine


8 Brooklyn Paul December 2, 2010

Nice job… I really have no idea whether I would like this wine…but it was fun to read!


9 Coupe 60 December 3, 2010

Paul, I think our palates are pretty similar (certainly for Red wines anyway). I think you would have liked this, outstanding pure fruit, no oak, no malo….really tasty and fun to drink…


10 OttawaB December 4, 2010

Coupe doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ms. Pizz rules !!!!!


11 Don December 4, 2010

Wow, for a minute there I thought I was reading Wine Spectator with cursing! Good job guys! Nice collaboration. Too bad I didn’t know about this wine before turkey day, I would have tried it with my thanksgiving meal. Like I’d ever find it out here in Idaho. I can get any kind of Pickup truck known to man, but try and find something that isn’t Gallo or Ste Chappell’s and all of a sudden you’re on a desert island. Oh well, I think I’ll go shovel snow, put another log on the fire, and pick out my flannel for dinner! 😉


12 Katie Pizzuto December 5, 2010

Yeah, but you can get some pretty nice beer! What you need to do, Don, is start having wine shipped to you. I realize paying for shipping is a pain in the ass, but it may be worth it…hell, I live near NYC and I still do that with hard-to-find beers and wines!


13 Steuben December 20, 2010

Love the collaboration…Love the snarkiness. Wondering how hard it would be to track down a bottle of this stuff…hrm…


14 Katie Pizzuto December 20, 2010

I’ve got an email into the rep to see if any is available and if so, where.


15 Katie Pizzuto December 22, 2010

OK, found out from the PR peeps that unfortunately the wine was a limited edition and is sold out. That being said, though, City Winery made the Chardonnay, so you may wanna give their current offering a try:


Best I could do, guys!


16 Daisy Gentry December 25, 2010

You’re not walking out on this one, mister. You’re finished. No more Delta! You’ve bought it this time, buster! I’m calling your national office! I’m going to revoke your charter! (National anthem plays) If you wise guys try one more thing… One more, I’ll kick you out of this college! No more fun of any kind!


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