Collision course – St. Andrea Chardonnay „Sommelier Collection” 2018

Beautiful label but you can’t judge a book by its cover

St. Andrea’s early attempts at chardonnay all got lost in the Hundred Barrel Wood. Unfortunately I have no idea whether they have ever managed to escape from the dark forest. I suppose not because for many years there was no St. Andrea Chardonnay. In retrospect I struggle to justify my choice: was it nostalgia or baseless optimism (after the excellent Etyeki Kúria) or just foolhardy curiosity that led me to the „Sommelier Collection”?

First impression: not as oaky as it used to be. Second impression: still way too oaky. Third impression: what were they thinking? I’m just as puzzled by this wine as I was with Ruppert’s 2015 Villányi Franc. Were these wines born out of a serious lapse of judgement or is it still acceptable by Hungarian standards to feed customers with such ill-conceived creations?

It’s not that I haven’t tasted oakier wines with much more pronounced toast character. But in this case there seems to be nothing to stand up against the oak. Of the fermented grape juice element all I can say is that it’s mid-weight and it’s sour. The overall impression is that this is a painful crash of sweet and sour. Is this the wine that was used to temper their brand new barrel(s)?

I don’t really know how to score a wine that I don’t want to drink. For the sake of clarity: it’s not faulty, it’s just poor and pointless. BTW it’s 14 euros.