The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Bonterra Chardonnay 2009 review

(For the background to the following, read the previous post, ‘When Clemmie Misses Her Train’.)

Feeling unaccountably like the boy waiting outside the Headmaster’s office, I found myself standing at the door to my neighbour’s flat.

Pull yourself together, Parnell, I murmured — and administered a falsely assertive rap upon the door.

(When I say ‘rap’, I mean in the sense of ‘knock’ or ‘tap’. Not in the sense of performing a piece of urban spoken music. Though perhaps I should have explored this kind of rap as an alternative means by which to announce my presence. It might have allowed me to retain the initiative a little longer in the ensuing encounter.)

The door swung open. From behind it, a disembodied voice: ‘Do come in.’

Now, reader, let me tell you this: I was all prepared for a doorstep exchange, here. And this invitation to enter wrongfooted me straight away. But what’s a chap to do? I couldn’t very well reply, ‘Um, no, I’d rather conduct this conversation in public view’, now, could I?

So in I went.

‘Don’t you want your parcel?’

This struck me as a needlessly adversarial opening to our conversation.

‘Oh, um, yes please,’ I replied, somewhat meekly.

‘Well why didn’t you pick it up? It’s been here for two days!’

Oh yikes.

‘Gosh — I’m very sorry: it was quite late when I came in last night…’ (Yes, I have a tendency to use expressions such as ‘gosh’ in such situations. I fondly nurture the delusion that it makes me seem charming and socially assured.)

‘But what about the night before? Why didn’t you pick it up then?’

This, I began to suspect, is what intense police interrogation feels like. I began to be confused, to lose track of my cover story. ‘Um… I…’

‘If you’d prefer, I won’t take your parcels. Would you prefer that?’

At this point, I’m sort of stammering — so entirely disorientated am I by the fierce barrage of accusatory questions emanating from this small 98-year-old woman.

‘Um… I don’t know. I don’t want to cause you any trouble.’

‘Well, pick up your parcels! I don’t mind taking them in, but I don’t want the responsibility of keeping them for days.’

(Responsibility indeed.)

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Well. That’s all. You can go now.’

***

A bottle of Bonterra, label with minimalist floral illustrations and handwritten text. In the background a second bottle, out of focusAfter that, as you may well imagine, I needed some kind of alcoholic bracer. And that’s where Bonterra came in.

Bonterra’s is a fruity, a creamy, a taut Chardonnay. While it’s far from self-effacing, there’s none of that wenchy quality that New World Chardonnay can have. There’s some pepper in there, and it’s altogether rather nice — sprightly but full.

What’s more, relative to other chardonnays hailing from its part of the world, it has a pleasant lightness to it. A certain easygoing quality.

The kind of wine, in other words, that probably wouldn’t mind holding onto your parcels for a day or two.

Rating ★★★ 3 stars (good)
Grape Chardonnay
Region Mendocino Valley, California
ABV 13.5%
Price £10.44 from Waitrose, £10.99 from Majestic

6 Comments to Bonterra Chardonnay 2009 review

  1. October 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    A fine choice of wine and a lot less scary than your nonagenarian neighbour.

    If you are interested I can recommend their Zin:

    http://tumblr.com/ZHjmEy6vD6FK

    Take her a bottle and crack it open with her. That’s worth another post for sure!

  2. October 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    RT @oldparn: 1. 98-year-old woman kicks my arse. 2. I revive myself with a Bonterra Chardonnay. http://t.co/SqNroFro #wine

  3. Alison Bird's Gravatar Alison Bird
    October 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the intro Tom. Heh! you can put into words how I so often feel, but have struggled all my life to express! Mean it. When I’m going to cook for friends I’ll dip into your blogs for the right wine :-) Hope London is being kind to you x

  4. Sehr's Gravatar Sehr
    October 25, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Would this be the same neighbour who ‘spoilt your fun’?

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