root and vine chardonnayI often complain about the homogeneity of “Big Wine” brands, but this Gallo brand Chardonnay is just weird.

The nose is dominated by apricot notes, unusual in Chardonnay, although the floral and slight butter notes are more traditional. The palate has obvious sugar up front and vaguely topical, guava-like flavors, with a woody background, but the fruit fades on the finish which shows too much exposed acidity and disjointed bitter notes. The midpalate creaminess is pleasant but the texture hardens as the fruit fades. I must say I haven’t tasted a Chardonnay quite like this but the experience is not entirely pleasant. The finish manages to be both cloying and bitter.

An acceptable table wine with dishes that have some sweetness, I found pairing it with the weird, disjoint but pleasing Animal Collective’s Lion in a Coma makes it seem less sugary.

Score: 81

Price: $12

Alc. 13%