Niagara Wine Review: Malivoire Chardonnay 2010

Malivoire Chardonnay 2010
VQA Niagara Peninsula
13% alc.

Situated on a picturesque road full of vineyards, Malivoire Wine produces a well balanced oaked chardonnay that clocks in at $19.95 at the LCBO.

Before we get into the review, I’ll admit I’m an oaked chardonnay fan. In the 2000’s, it seemed like chardonnay gained quite a bad name when a succession of inexpensive chards gained purchase in the market. Some of these chards were (and still are) oaked by unexpected methods:  the usual well-crafted barrels or barriques are replaced with sacks of submerged wood chips or even liquid ‘oak’.

I think wineries are aware of this oaked chardonnay stigma and are quick to indicate a well-made vintage.

In recent years, I’ve noticed a trend in wineries being very specific about their application of oak. Many will try to communicate delicate oak flavours by specifying the amount of time spent in the barrel, indicating barrel origin, and stating whether or not the barrels were new. French oak, for instance, is often thought to impart a more delicate flavour to the wine. A winery might describe a delicate chardonnay as having spent 6 months in new French oak, followed by blending 40% with wine aged in stainless steel.

Malivoire Chardonnay

What does the the Malivoire chard tell us?

Notes direct from the winery indicate that 57% of the chardonnay was fermented in oak barrels, and 43% in stainless steel.

My tasting of the wine:

The wine displays pale straw colour and has a very pleasant nose of coconut, banana, vanilla, lemon custard and apple. On the palate are apple pie, nut and coconut notes. This is combined with a fresh minerality that nicely balances the wine. The finish is of medium length and provides a hint of lemon drop.

Good quality for price and very worthwhile trying.

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