A Veneto, Italy Chardonnay

Can you get a decent Italian Chardonnay at this price?...

Cesari Venetian Chardonnay

Cesari Venetian Merlot

I recently tasted this producerís similarly priced Merlot and wondered aloud how they could make such an inexpensive wine in such an expensive environment. Ditto for their Chardonnay. I donít think that the wine is a loss leader for their Amarone, a special wine made only in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, which at almost $40 wonít be found in this column. Cesari was founded in 1935 and owns extensive vineyards on the shores of Lake Garda in Verona. This Shakespearean city is brimming with Medieval and Roman architecture including Italyís third largest arena, still used for public events. The companion wine is an Israeli Chardonnay coming in at twice the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Cesari Chardonnay Delle Venezie 2011 12 % alcohol about $7.50.

In the absence of marketing materials letís start by quoting the back label ďThis wine has been carefully vinified from Chardonnay grapes selected from around the Veneto region. Itís (sic) clear straw colour, fruity bouquet, full and well great accompaniment for many fish dishes.Ē And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was pleasantly sweet but short. The initial meal focused on a barbecued chicken breast with a paprika dusted skin on which I squeezed a generous amount of fresh lime. The Chardonnay responded with its own lime and pleasant acidity. It was somewhat metallic. Steamed quinoa increased the liquidís acidity and it kept giving me an agreeable metallic taste. But a barbecued chicken wing rendered Chardyís acidity lightly sour. The side dish of steamed broccoli made the libation smoky with a touch of the ethereal.

The second meal centered on poached eggs accompanied by tomatoes, garlic, ginger, basil, parsley, and onions. In response our Italian friend presented bright, almost sour acidity but was still refreshing. The mixed salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and red onions pepped up with fresh lime was minced, unlike my words. This salad almost wiped out the contents of my glass, which remained slightly sweet. Fresh cantaloupe gave whitey tangy acidity and not much else.

The final meal began with Wasabi-less bland Japanese rice crackers. Now the Chardonnay was lemony with a tinge of sugar. When paired with virtually tasteless store bought boxed potato and onion perogis the wine responded in kind, but it was round. The side dish of green beans and onions in a tomato sauce rendered my drink acidic with a twist of citrus. Fresh strawberries for dessert gave this Cesari a wisp of burnt taste.

Final verdict. This wine is border line but really for $7.50 I canít expect something much better. Frankly I enjoyed it more than many over-oaked Chardonnays in a totally different price range.

Access the companion wine A Classic Israeli Chardonnay.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.wineinyourdiet.com

Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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