Jim Olsen – 2012 California Chardonnay TN


Wow, It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been staring at this bottle just waiting for a good time to crack it open. I loved Jim’s Barbera so much, I bought a few bottles to stock away and it took me three days of tasting to discern all the characteristics….so I’ve been looking forward to this Chardonnay.

Cracked open a nice chilled bottle while grilling marinated chicken and roasting some garlic potatoes. It’s got a nice rich, golden color which first made me think of heavy oak. I really am not a buttery oak fan at all. However, Jim’s latest Chard has only some hints of vanilla and oak. Nothing overbearing at all, but there’s just enough to tease your tongue.

On the nose, I got an immediate whiff of overripe honeycrisp apples. Maybe Fuji apples drizzled with orange blossom honey? I think you get the idea. Then a little bit of sulphur which dissipated after the bottles was open for 30 minutes. You can taste the steel in this wine and I just love the acidity and structure that taste brings to this wine. Then fresh cut straw filled my nostrils along with a tad of menthol. The nose smoothed out with a little banana after some ample breathing.

This is a nicely balanced wine. Plenty of acidity and fruit unlike many California Chardonnays. Love this style. On the palate, leesy with a little oak on the mid palate. It finished off with a nice taste of butterscotch and then a punch of lemons providing a nice dry acid on the tongue.

The wine overall is a little heavier and has more body than what I would drink on a real hot day as a refresher around the pool. So paired with a meal or around the fireplace in autumn is where I’ll be drinking my next chilled bottle. The Angels get this wine for less than $10 and that is an absolute steal! Way to go Jim, I’m definitely a fan of your tastebuds!


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