Mike Press Chardonnay 2009

Or: the art of the perfect quaffing wine.

At $8.33 per bottle, this wine positions itself squarely at the “everyday drinking” end of the market. This can be scary vinous territory, swinging unpredictably from surprisingly good to revoltingly cynical in the twist of a corkscrew. And it’s fair to ask: what ought a wine to be at this price? I don’t pretend to have an answer, but I know a good attempt when I taste one, and this certainly is a good attempt at the ideal quaffing white.
The nose shows alcohol and sweet basil, but mostly juicy white nectarine (including the skins). It’s all quite simple and fresh, with little in the way of confectionary overtones, nor worked characters that might suggest a sense of obesity. The palate adds to these simple, attractive flavours by delivering a slippery, borderline syrupy mouthfeel that speaks of cost-effective luxury.  Intensity is quite decent, and there’s a surprisingly sophisticated streak of minerality running underneath all that peachy goodness. Indeed, this is the Hyundai Sonata of quaffing wines; aiming above its station and, for the time it takes to smell and swallow, more or less delivering. That it evaporates from one’s memory almost as quickly as the dramatic impact of Avatar is quite beside the point. It’s awfully fun while it lasts.
And isn’t that what quaffing wines are all about?

Mike Press Wines
Price: $A8.33
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

4 thoughts on “Mike Press Chardonnay 2009

  1. What *does* $8.33 bottle of wine mean?

    – It can be a status wine for someone who buys a $6 bottle. “Look honey, I decide to upscale our drinking tonite!”

    – Likewise, it can be an stepping stone to more intriguing and expensive wines (like this one, it seems)

    – It can scream “fun but not cheap”: good for casually aspirational social situations. It’s fun to slum it sometimes!

    – A decent way of a dumping a bit of excess production (on a secondary label, perhaps) without diluting the value of higher priced offerings?

    And it’s great for that gift for someone you don’t know well, like for a house party: “Yeah, I felt like I had to bring something, but I don’t know what wine you like, so here’s this one: not the cheapest so it’s not insulting, and not the most expensive so it all goes to waste!”

    • You are all about context. 🙂 I’ll add a further variation, which is that an $8.33 bottle of Chardonnay is an easy target for jaded bloggers who have lost all sense of proportion with respect to the value of wine (that’s me, folks). Despite it all, I did quite enjoy the wine.

  2. Nice summation! Although I’m unfamiliar with Hyundai Sonatas, I think I get where you’re coming from 🙂

    The minerality is interesting in such a wine…

    • Yes, that and the lovely herbal thingo were unexpected. I think I would have preferred a marginally leaner flavour profile, but perhaps that would have taken away some of this wine’s easy appeal too.

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