Saturday, March 15, 2008

OAK LEAF VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY - NV

This is the second wine from Oak Leaf Vineyards (Ripon, CA) that I sampled. Aimed to compete with the TWO BUCK CHUCKS of the world, this $2 - $3 Chardonnay is made from California grapes and has an alcohol content of 12.5%.

This wine won a gold medal at the Florida State Fair. Oak Leaf also produces a Merlot, Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and White Zinfandel. Available at Wal-Marts that sell wine.

TASTING NOTES:

Light gold color with very clean aromas and flavors of apple, pineapple, pear and oak. Medium to light bodied with a nice crispness. Smooth, pleasant and enough fruit to keep the oak in check.

SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:

85+ PTS
This is a very good Chardonnay for $2 - $3. I'm surprised by the quality here given the price. Not going to give you a ton of complexity but solid and serviceable. A good drinking Chardonnay that is actually better than a lot of expensive Chards that drown their wine in oak. There are some really nice fruit flavors. For the price this is very easy wine to recommend.

41 Comments:

  • I drink alot of wine. Saw this little jewel at Walmart for $2.97. Bought a bottle beause I was intrigued . So cheap for a California? When I tasted it I was blown away! What a wonderful solid crisp taste ! And no Oak!
    MY husband opened the bottle. When I asked for a glass I did not realize what he opened. I had another bottle of a moderate price chard in the frig. I did a double take. Went to frig to see what he un corked. Was amused at this little guy. Be prepared! You will see the price rise on this one .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, March 21, 2008 5:53:00 PM  

  • I love this wine. Does anyone know the content of calories this wine has? I drink about 1 glass of wine at least every two days a week. I'm just curious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:59:00 PM  

  • Consider a glass of 9oz about 205-210 calories.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 24, 2008 12:06:00 AM  

  • Does any one know what the alcohol content is in their White Zin?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, April 25, 2008 9:38:00 PM  

  • The alcohol content on the white Zin is
    10%.

    low compared to an average wine, but i think that's a good thing.

    It's a nice refreshing wine.
    reminds me a cherry cream seltzer.

    I have'nt had the chardonnay yet
    but am quite pleasantly suprised at
    the Oak Leaf Cabarnet Sauvignon and
    White Zin.
    i've read in some reviews that the
    Oak leaf merlot is junk
    and I can't recommend their
    pinot grigio/chardonnay wine either.

    By Blogger seventythree, at Sunday, April 27, 2008 7:42:00 PM  

  • I also drink alot of wine - mainly chardonnay - have been stuck on the Australian varieties for a few years. Have seen this at Wal-Mart for about 6 mos now - reluctant - but finally broke down - how can you go wrong for $2 a bottle? WOW! what a surprise - fruity, light on the oak but most of all crisp - up there with $2 buck chuck - maybe better - hope the price stays the same.... penguin girl

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, May 30, 2008 11:16:00 PM  

  • I was very please with this bottle, I am headed to wal mart to buy even more,compared to the 15.00 dollar I had this weekend

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 09, 2008 8:42:00 AM  

  • As a cork dork, I was expecting this wine to be only useful for Sangria. I tried it...love it (for the price) and have bought out two Wal-Marts. 7 bottles of this stuff for $21? That's what I usually spend on a CA Cab at discount wine merchants!

    I agree that this one will go up in price soon.

    By Blogger The Rimassa's, at Monday, June 09, 2008 2:10:00 PM  

  • still enjoying this wonderful change - just one question - have you noticed there isn't a vintage year on the bottle? would appreciate any input....
    penguin girl

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 09, 2008 11:31:00 PM  

  • Does anyone know where to buy this wine for us in New York? Apparently, we don't have any Wal-Mart superstores. Can it be purchased on line?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:09:00 AM  

  • I bought one of each of the varieties available at my local Super WalMart for $2.97 in Central Florida and was delighted. As many others report, I've paid $20 for wines inferior to these. I went right back for more and discovered it sold out. On a recent a trip to Tallahassee, though, I found a large supply of Oak Leaf at a Super WM and happily purchased a case. With good wine this cheap and gasoline so expensive, one's motto should certainly be, "Drink, and don't drive."

    By Blogger Mary, at Tuesday, July 01, 2008 3:14:00 PM  

  • At $1.97 a bottle, the Cab is an outstanding value. Clearly superior to the Charles Shaw at Trader Joe's. Brilliant strategic move by Wal Mart.

    By Anonymous Steve B., at Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:03:00 PM  

  • What is the carb count of the pinot grigio chardonnay?

    By Blogger Daryl, at Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6:57:00 PM  

  • What is the carb count?

    By Blogger Daryl, at Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6:59:00 PM  

  • Absolutely a crisp yet smooth Merlot. The Cab is extremely nice. Like others, I saw it at Walmart (Also for $2.97/bt) in Grants Pass, OR and was very intrigued. I tried a bt of each, and all I have to say is WOW!!! WHAT A FANTASTIC WINE!!! Thank you so very much Oak Leaf Vineyards!!!

    By Blogger Kendall, at Thursday, October 02, 2008 7:49:00 PM  

  • I have tried these Wines myself and I have also set up little wine parties just to see peoples reactions without seeing the price of the wine. The only one out of the group was the Oak Leaf Vineyards Merlot NV. Out of 5 people only 1 person liked it. Cabernet Sauvignon was pretty much the Ace of the group.

    By Anonymous Damion, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:42:00 PM  

  • What is the NV stand for?
    Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, November 04, 2008 6:26:00 PM  

  • One of the best chardonnay at an extremely cheap price. It has an excellent taste at room temperature, tastes even better when chilled. When will they come with a Reisling? Hopefully the price will never go up..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, November 07, 2008 5:06:00 PM  

  • Oak Leaf Vineyards (Ripon, Calif.) does not really exist as such; instead it is a production facility of The Wine Group, Inc. Oak Leaf wine is the private label non-vintage wine marketed by The Wine Group (the box wine people) only to Wal-Mart stores. (Not E&J Gallo as some reviews contend.)

    Headquartered in San Francisco (about 70 miles west of Ripon), The Wine Group’s labels include such well known brands as Corbett Canyon, Inglenook, Mogen David, Franzia, Almaden and Glen Ellen wines. The firm recently relocated their operations center from San Francisco to Livermore, Calif., about mid-way between San Francisco and Ripon.

    Privately held, The Wine Group was once part of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York. And being privately held, its operation and products are kept pretty much secret. It doesn’t even have a corporate website, although it does have brand-related sites. Strange for the second largest wine producer in California (more than 40 million cases produced annually), second only to Gallo.

    Oak Leaf wines are very similar to Bronco’s Charles Shaw wines (affectionately nicknamed "Two Buck Chuck") which sells for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s stores. Headquartered in Monrovia, Calif., Trader Joe’s 300 stores has sold millions of cases of what the trade calls “extreme value wines.” Due to transportation charges to outlying states, the price can be a dollar more.

    The Charles Shaw label is a brand of the Bronco Wine Company (Ceres, Calif.) owned by John and Fred Franzia (formerly of Franzia Brothers wines.) The Franzias (nephews of Ernest Gallo) sold the Franzia brand name to The Wine Group and started Bronco Wines and they are competitors. The Franzia family, which now has no relationship to Franzia brand boxed wine, has made wine in California for over 100 years. Bronco is California’s third largest wine producer.

    Oak Leaf Vineyards (which doesn’t even have its own telephone number) is one of hundreds of wine brands bottled by The Wine Group in Ripon. It does not release the private labels of the wines it makes but there are many.

    Oak Leaf wines come in five varietals: Cabenet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay and White Zinfandel. The standard 750-ml bottles with an artificial cork have an elegant label that shows four seasonal oak trees, one for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

    We are not one to place a lot of importance on awards since it seems all wineries get them. But Oak Leaf Vineyards did win a gold medal at the prestigious Florida State International Wine Competition and Silver and Bronze at the 2008 San Francisco Wine Competition. Incredible for a $3 wine! And the Summer-2008 edition of “O at Home” magazine (an Oprah Winfrey publication) featured Oak Leaf wine on its cover with the tag line: “The $3 bottle of wine that will blow you away.” On page 19, they picture Oak Leaf Chardonnay and call it “The steal of the season.”

    I like the Cabernet Sauvignon best. It is a full favored, medium body wine with a fruity aroma of berry, spice, vanilla and oak ...pretty smooth and no unpleasant aftertaste. This is not a sophisticated wine but a terrific value at $2.97.

    Wine snobs won’t like it because it is inexpensive and comes from Wal-Mart. But the fact is that it is better than one would expect. I certainly have had $10-$15 French wine far worse. Wal-Mart sells out of it fast, so I buy several bottles whenever they have it. So far, it has been consistently good ...a problem with low price wines. One bottle is good ...the next not so good. It’s perfect for an everyday wine to compliment dine-in dinner or snacks on the patio. Goes with almost anything. I rate it an “80" out of 100.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, November 17, 2008 7:03:00 AM  

  • Oak Leaf Vineyards does not really exist as such; instead it is simply one of the labels produced in The Wine Group’s, Ripon, Calif. production facility. Oak Leaf wine is the private label non-vintage wine marketed by The Wine Group (the box wine people) only to Wal-Mart stores. (Not E&J Gallo as some reviews contend.)

    Headquartered in San Francisco (about 70 miles west of Ripon), The Wine Group’s labels include such well known brands as Corbett Canyon, Inglenook, Mogen David, Franzia, Almaden and Glen Ellen wines. The firm recently relocated their operations center from San Francisco to Livermore, Calif., about mid-way between San Francisco and Ripon.

    Privately held, The Wine Group was once part of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York. And being privately held, its operation and products are kept pretty much secret. It doesn’t even have a corporate website, although it does have brand-related sites. Strange for the second largest wine producer in California (more than 40 million cases produced annually), second only to Gallo.

    Oak Leaf wines are very similar to Bronco’s Charles Shaw wines (affectionately nicknamed "Two Buck Chuck") which sells for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s stores. Headquartered in Monrovia, Calif., Trader Joe’s 300 stores have sold millions of cases of what the trade calls “extreme value wines.” Due to transportation charges to outlying states, the price can be a dollar more.

    The Charles Shaw label is a brand of the Bronco Wine Company (Ceres, Calif.) owned by John and Fred Franzia (formerly of Franzia Brothers wines.) The Franzias (nephews of Ernest Gallo) sold the Franzia brand name to The Wine Group and started Bronco Wines and they are competitors. The Franzia family, which now has no relationship to Franzia brand boxed wine, has made wine in California for over 100 years. Bronco is California’s third largest wine producer.

    Oak Leaf Vineyards (which doesn’t even have its own telephone number) is one of hundreds of wine brands bottled by The Wine Group in Ripon. It does not release the private labels of the wines it makes but there are many.

    Oak Leaf wines come in five varietals: Cabenet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay and White Zinfandel. The standard 750-ml bottles with an artificial cork have an elegant label that shows four seasonal oak trees, one for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

    We are not one to place a lot of importance on awards since it seems all wineries get them. But Oak Leaf Vineyards did win a gold medal at the prestigious Florida State International Wine Competition and Silver and Bronze at the 2008 San Francisco Wine Competition. Incredible for a $3 wine! And the Summer-2008 edition of “O at Home” magazine (an Oprah Winfrey publication) featured Oak Leaf wine on its cover with the tag line: “The $3 bottle of wine that will blow you away.” On page 19, they picture Oak Leaf Chardonnay and call it “The steal of the season.”

    I like the Cabernet Sauvignon best. It is a full favored, medium body wine with a fruity aroma of berry, spice, vanilla and oak ...pretty smooth and no unpleasant aftertaste. This is not a sophisticated wine but a terrific value at $2.97.

    Wine snobs won’t like it because it is inexpensive and comes from Wal-Mart. But the fact is that it is better than one would expect. I certainly have had $10-$15 French wine far worse. Wal-Mart sells out of it fast, so I buy several bottles whenever they have it. So far, it has been consistently good ...a problem with low price wines. One bottle is good ...the next not so good. It’s perfect for an everyday wine to compliment dine-in dinner or snacks on the patio. Goes with almost anything. I rate it an “80" out of 100.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, November 17, 2008 7:18:00 AM  

  • The whites are VERY good, but the merlot, in my opinion, tastes like sour Kool-Aid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:46:00 PM  

  • For Daryl, in frustration - You're counting carbs, Daryl. Don't touch alcohol! It will leave the rest of us more....

    No kidding, green tea is really nice....

    By Anonymous Kudzuisedible, at Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:14:00 PM  

  • Love this wine! Love it so much I decided it would be a great Christmas present for all my co-workers, so I headed out to Wal-mart and purchased 20 bottles. You can't beat that for a great inexpensive gift that is well worth it. I purchase at least 6-10 bottles of this stuff a month just for myself, I sure hope the price doesn't go up, the quality is excellent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, March 27, 2009 8:15:00 AM  

  • I really enjoyed the Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay, but now I can't find it . Now I can only find Pinot Grigi/Chablis.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:40:00 AM  

  • Absolutely love the
    Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay, it is crisp and just a lovely wine.
    Thanks Oak Leaf !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:51:00 PM  

  • OMG....THE SECRET IS OUT. Now the price will go up for sure. I have been drinking and serving this wine for some time now and think it compares favorably against more expenisve wines. Must buy a case!!!

    By Blogger zookie, at Tuesday, May 12, 2009 11:19:00 AM  

  • Try the Shiraz, that and the Cab are my favorites. Tonight I served the Pinot G with a grouper dinner and it got lots of compliments.

    By Anonymous LovesWine, at Sunday, June 21, 2009 11:40:00 PM  

  • This wine is a an unbelievable value for the quality it delivers.....a plus is that It never has given me a headache! A big plus. I have been buying this wine for some time now, and I really enjoy the white zinfandel, but i would be curious as to what other variety would be sweeter tasting... in Oak Leaf Brand? Anyone know?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, July 09, 2009 3:48:00 PM  

  • I was born and raised in Napa, Ca. I am NOT a wine snob and find that breed of people quite dull. The ones who believe, the more you pay for a wine the better, are complete fools. Oak Leaf Chardonnay is a terrific wine for the price. However, I do not recommend the box version of this wine. IT IS AWFUL! (Yes, raised in Napa, drinks wine from a box. I don't serve it at dinner parties but enjoy the convenience of the boxed packaging for my own consumption.) I was so shocked at the difference in taste, aroma, and color of the bottled version compared to the box version that I wrote to the company. Their curt response, "The blend is always the same whether it's in a bottle or the box." Who do they think they are kidding? Stay away from the boxed version. Like the bottled wine it's consistent, just not for the better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, July 27, 2009 7:58:00 PM  

  • 9-1-09 Just opened my s liter box of Oak Leaf Chardonnay. And , to my surprise it came out bright Orange. The taste was nasty. So much for box wine and Oak leaf quality. The expiration date on this box 12-09. Regards, guido

    By Blogger unoguido, at Tuesday, September 01, 2009 4:35:00 PM  

  • I can agree with the earlier posting about the horrible taste of the Oak Leaf Chardonnay. It should be called "Sour Raisin". How dare it should be called chardonnay. It has no relationship to any grade of wine.I threw away 2 of the 3 liters that come in their cheap boxed wine presentation. Avoid at all costs!

    By Anonymous galen03, at Thursday, September 03, 2009 10:52:00 PM  

  • Bought a box of the chardonnay and while the wine if fine, the twister cap has to go. It sticks and I get "overflow". A Push Type would serve better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 26, 2009 9:06:00 PM  

  • Great Chardonnay at such a great price.

    By Blogger Cathy, at Saturday, February 27, 2010 7:00:00 PM  

  • Move over Kendall Jackson and Le Crema, Oak Leaf Vineyards is ready to take over the wine fridge. Thought by some as Wal Mart's own vineyard or private label at the least, this wine is a big surprise. Have only tried the Chardonnay, looking forward to enjoying the other offerings as well. And for some other bloggers, yes, it's time to take the big leap- step out of the box, and taste a great wine at a great price all flowing from a glass vessel and not a cardboard encapsulated plastic bladder. And... all for $2.97!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, June 30, 2010 7:10:00 PM  

  • OAK LEAF IS STANDING UP WELL IN MY BOOK. THE CAB. AND MERLOT ARE ESPECIALLY PLEASANT.
    SAVED ENOUGH TO BUY AN EXTRA BOTTLE OF CROWN ROYAL.
    HOPE WM CONTINUES TO HAVE IT IN STOCK.
    AL IN K'PORT, MAINE

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, September 05, 2010 10:52:00 AM  

  • Last week I bought a box of Oak Leaf Chardonnay. I've bought the box many times and have always enjoyed it. However, this time when I poured it into glasses it was very dark in color and the smell and taste was nasty. I took that box back to the store and bought another box. Got the new box home and it too was dark in color and nasty in taste the coding on this box was "April 13, 2010 09 : 48R1", I don't know what the code meant but I made sure I didn't buy that code again!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:09:00 AM  

  • This bottle of chardonnay was unusual because it contained protein! a worm or millipede was alive and swimming! What now? I didn't pay extra for the extra!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, November 15, 2010 6:33:00 PM  

  • Tonight we had an unexpected surprise in our chardonnay-a worm/millipede(?) was busy swimming. We don't do protein in that way. What should we do?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, November 15, 2010 6:38:00 PM  

  • I have had the exact same experience with the Oak Leaf box Chardonnay. I loved the wine when I bought it in the bottle, but when I bought the box, it was orange in color and HORRIBLE. I assumed it was "cooked" in transport, or something along those lines. But now reading the other posts, it appears that all of the boxes are bad.Wow! Pretty shocking that the company knows they are selling the product that way and no change!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, April 29, 2011 1:30:00 PM  

  • $2.77 per bottle from Wal-Mart and for the money, the wine is an excellent value. I researched inexpensive wines recently, this particular choice popped up and very pleased. Will be going back to purchase more.

    By Blogger William Glen Farmer, at Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:07:00 PM  

  • I forgot to mention that I purchased a bottle of Oak Leaf Pinot Grigio and would not recommend this wine, when given the option to purchase the Chard. Purchased in S. Indiana. That being said, for my unrefined the Pinot is acceptable, just doesn't make sense if the Chard is in stock.

    By Blogger William Glen Farmer, at Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:10:00 PM  

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