Want to drink world-class quality? Have limited funds? Look no further than this...

I think it’s time to put things in perspective. And amid all those high profile wines not forget to commend those who offer wines of premium quality at affordable prices. Don’t get me wrong - I enjoy those super rare wines as well and have been enjoying my fair share of wines like that. But what really impresses me are those wineries allowing you to feel like a King for a day, without robbing the bank. One such wine is this perennial favourite.

Made a pass by the monopoly flagship wine store in Stockholm and laid my eyes on this bottle. At SEK 350 it’s rather up there at the at around USD 42-43, I guess. Looking at the prices in the US, I notice you can enjoy this wine much, much cheaper. Year in and out, this wine delivers. Can’t remember I’ve ever had a disappointing experience with the Private Reserve. Here are my impressions.

2012 Beringer Chardonnay Private Reserve
You can feel the inner quality already on the first sip. Smooth as silk, rich and creamy without being heavy, scents and flavours of white flowers, broad brushes of yellow apples, some fresh pinapple mixed with lemon and…wet stones. Love the nice minerality backbone that keeps it tight and focused despite its creamy richness. A touch of vanilla in the beginning but later it smoothes out and offers a delightful and vivid wave of energy as it splashes down the throat. I think they have found a most agreeable sweet-spot between fresh acidity, minerality and those creamier fruit flavours, keeping your interest on high allert throughout the drinking experience. Opened the bottle yesterday so it will be fun to see what a day in the fridge has done to it. The finish…well, it leaves you with a refreshing vibration on the palate and lures you into one more sip. You know, the famous “just one more sip”… 92 points.

Isn’t this a USD 30 bottle over there? I wonder what you would get from Burgundy at this price level…

While you do mention “a touch of vanilla”, it’s remarkable to see this wine described without mentioning the oak.

You could buy 2 bottles of Chateau Graville-Lacoste for the price of that Beringer.

Love that Graville-Lacoste. Generally an easy case purchase. I do not like the Beringer Chards at all.

Miran, how about some notes on the Ridge Chard?

Robert, I have tasted the Ridge Chardonnays too but, and I know we all differ in palate, those were actually more oaky (to me) than the Beringer. But then I must admit that I like fruity, voluptuous Californian Chadonnays. As long as they have tension and balance, byt that goes without saying.

You’re the one who tipped me off to it. I still remember you calling it “crazy good” for the cost.

It may be tough to source in your neck of the woods, but I’ve been able to grab bottles of the 2012 Girardin Cuveé Saint-Vincent (Bourgogne AOC) for $20. It’s far and away my QPR pick of the year. Holy crap that’s amazing Chardonnay for the money.

And you can get eight bottles of Apothic Red for the price of that Beringer. Why would it matter?

The Beringer Private Reserve Chard is definitely a crowd pleaser - the 2012 was also a very good year. I haven’t had many of these, but the I didn’t think the 2012 had a lot of oak - and I don’t like a lot of oak either. I think I paid $26 for it last year and I thought that represented a solid value for what you get - very deep tropical flavors but not buttery at all.

Um, maybe because we’re talking about drinking well on a budget? Bad day at work Tom?

Does it qualify as cougar juice?

for well priced fun food wine, I drink Dominique Andiran Vain de Rû - grapes is Colombard (used in Armagnac production a lot which needs grape with high acidity) from Gascogne, with really mineral structure as well, and creamy texture. For about 8 euros or about 15 dollars here in the US.

We drank a lot of the 2010 and 2011s. For its style, it’s good stuff. It isn’t over the top like a Rombauer, but if you’re looking for something middle of the road, it’s a nice wine. And you can catch it on sale at places like Total Wine.

The alternative wines mentioned above - I’m sure they’re good, but they’re not in the same vein as this wine. I like French whites too, but a different animal.

yes, but they are totally different animals.

i would buy the occasional bottle of G-L every few vintages, but in general, I have a hard time truly enjoying white Bordeaux. Even though the bulk of our drinking is red Bdx, as well as their sweet wines.

its probably easier to find the Beringer than the Graville Lacoste for most consumers.

You´ve ever thought about how many high-class Austrian wines you can buy for 42 $ ???

Oh hell yes.