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Wine Pick of the Week

Wednesday, 28 December 2016 18:29

Milbrandt Traditions Chardonnay Picmonkey

2015 Traditions Chardonnay


Milbrandt Vineyards

Columbia Valley

Alcohol: 13%

Suggested retail: $12.99

“Chardonnay is the most popular white wine variety in the United States. But being so popular, it comes in many guises. Most of those priced at $12 or $13 and under—especially under—tend to be heavy and somewhat obvious. And whatever their residual sugar measurement, they often seem a bit sweet in the finish.

“This need not be so, however, as the Chardonnay grape is capable of producing wines of subtlety and finesse--even in those priced at relatively modest cost, such as the 2015 Milbrandt Traditions Chardonnay. Unfortunately, though, for the consumer it just doesn’t happen often enough.

“Beginning with its light golden appearance, today’s ‘Pick’ shows a sprightly personality. Aromas include crisp Gala apple and Asian pear. There’s some citrus that first seems reminiscent of Meyer lemon, but then there is a waft of something soft, yet richer like a Mandarin orange or clementine. Keep swirling and sniffing for a while before taking that first sip and you may also pick up a little bit of spice, too.

“Sometimes white wines seem to exhibit what I’ve tended to call ‘clean fruit.’ It’s a quality difficult to describe, but in such cases there seems to be a purity of the essence of what that grape variety is supposed to be. Such is the case with this week’s selection.  Enjoy it not too chilled and you will experience layers of subtleties—variations on that apple and pear theme that include just a little spice in the background. This wine is definitely in an understated style, but is surprisingly sophisticated. If not quite elegant, it’s certainly headed in that direction. A very good buy for those who appreciate a lilting, nuanced style.”

Food Affinity: “The sweet simplicity of a classic like Trout Almondine might be a perfect pairing.”


Editor’s note:  After writing his comments about the Milbrandt Traditions Chardonnay, our reviewer visited the winery website to check out recipe ideas as suggested on the bottle’s back label. There he found 16 videos with ideas of what to cook with various wines from this producer. Butch and Lisa Milbrandt collaborated on a 10-minute presentation that demonstrated preparation and serving ideas for sautéed shrimp with gazpacho—their suggestion for pairing with this Chardonnay. He enjoyed it and found it a clue as to why this winery crafts such a food-friendly wine.


Wines reviewed in Taste Washington Travel are encountered by our staff in several ways. They can be discovered at trade tastings or visits to wineries.  They may also be purchased by staff members for their own tables or be those sent by wineries for possible review. This is an editorial feature, not advertising, and appearance cannot be secured by payment. More information can be had by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Thursday, 29 December 2016 11:49


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