Editor’s Note: This Clos du Bois Chardonnay review is part of our value wine article series. Discover great tasting, affordable wines. Learn their tasting notes, how they’re made and also what foods to pair alongside these wines.
Clos du Bois Chardonnay Review from Northern & Central California
For many consumers, the Clos du Bois Chardonnay is a go-to, reliable house wine that more often than not is ready to go at a moments notice in the fridge. There’s a good reason for this. Despite the Clos du Bois Chardonnay being one of their mass-market, lower tier wines, grapes are sourced from some of the finer Chardonnay growing regions in both Northern and Central California. These include but are not limited to Sonoma County, Russian River Valley, Mendocino and the North and Central Coast.
Note that some of the grapes that go into their mass-market Chard are grown on Clos Du Bois’ properties throughout California. The majority of which are within Sonoma and the Central Coast. However, additional grapes are sourced from contract growers throughout the state, which helps to keep costs down and this particular Chardonnay at such an affordable price point.
In terms of accessibility, this is a common and popular grocery store Chardonnay. You can find it at most major retailers, in some cases for under $10. HEB, Publix, Target and Whole Foods are just a few of the large retailers around the US that sell Clos du Bois. Keep in mind that they also produce more premium varietal wines and blends, though they are harder to find and may need to be ordered online through their website or wine club.
Also worth noting are Clos Du Bois efforts to crafting their wines with sustainable methods. From utilizing over 4,000 solar panels across 4 acres of land to generate 85% of the power needed for their wine making facility, to re-purposing exhausted grape skins, seeds and stems as compost to help grow future vintages — Clos du Bois is helping to pioneer sustainable practices throughout California.
Crafting the Clos du Bois Chardonnay
Between August 18th and September 29th, grapes were harvested from the regions we discussed above during mornings and days when temperatures were at their coolest. Following harvest, the Chardonnay grapes were pressed softly as to best maintain the dominant fruit flavors of the California. This wine is about 13.5% ABV (alcohol by volume), and was aged in 30% French and 2% American Oak barrels. There is a subtle sweetness to this wine, as it maintains a sugar content of 3.6g / L.
According to Clos du Bois:
“The must was partially barrel fermented in a combination of French and American oak, with the remaining juice undergoing fermentation in stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation was then induced to soften the wine’s acidity and impart a smooth mouthfeel. To encourage maximum flavor development, the wine was aged in barrel sur lie (a top the dead yeast, or lees) for six months, with the lees stirred monthly prior to bottling. The wine was bottled starting in July 2015.”
Aging this Chardonnay “sur lie” is what gives it its creamy texture and pleasant mouth-feel.
Clos du Bois Chardonnay Tasting Notes
In the glass, this wine exhibits a clean yet soft golden color with medium minus intensity. On the nose, expect fresh hints of white peach, with hints of flowers, roses lemon peel and ripe melon.
On the opening palate, expect a medium bodied Chardonnay with no shortage of green apple flavors, pear and a fair portion of oaky undertones. The texture of this wine is fantastic for such a budget wine, in large part due to aging on the lees within the French and American oak barrels. As the palate progresses, expect slight undertones of sweetness, beneath apple, melon and vanilla flavors. Towards the finish, there are hints of lemon meringue pie, soft white Asian spice and toasted oak. The finish is medium in length.
Clos du Bois Chardonnay Food Pairing Tips & Recipes
This is a wonderful wine to pair with food. The versatility in mouth feel, refreshing citrus and tree fruit flavors backed by a decent amount of oaky tones makes it a perfect pairing along side Chicken & Shrimp Pad Thai. Also consider light-spiced seafood dishes, such as shrimp or Maryland pan-seared crab cakes.
Here are some other great food pairing options alongside the Clos du Bois Chardonnay:
- Easy Tzatziki with Toasted Pita Crisps Recipe (Appetizer)
- Teriyaki Ginger-Salmon with Sesame Zucchini Noodles
- Seared Hogfish with Ginger-Lime Butter
- Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki