Wine of the week: Tortoise Creek chardonnay/viognier 2006

image Screw top. No oak. Lots of viognier peach fruit. Less than $10.

Excuse me while I catch my breath. I couldn ?t believe how much I liked this wine, since cheap chardonnay, even from respected cheap wine producers like Tortoise Creek, is rarely worth writing about. It ?s either too oak-y (or too fake oak-y) and the lesser quality grapes that are used are often bitter or not quite ripe.

But that ?s not the case with this French wine, which is 70 percent chardonnay and 30 percent viognier. I drank it with takeout Indian — spiced lentils included ? and it was one of those pairings that made me think I actually know what I ?m doing.

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