Wine review: Vin Parfait 2009 Chardonnay California

Although the pitch is transparently focus-grouped and massaged, Vin Parfait [PAR fay] 2009 Chardonnay was a crowd-pleaser at a recent blind tasting. Check out these marketing-driven words from their website:

Naming a wine brand Parfait seems like an exercise in hubris. Is there such a thing as a “perfect” wine? If there is, what makes it perfect? For busy, fashionable young professionals balancing a hectic work (and social) schedule, the answer is simple. Like buying a fabulous pair of sunglasses, a new lipstick or an ice cream cone, the perfect wine is a well-deserved treat: it’s a pleasurable reward for hard work and a satisfying moment of delightful indulgence.”

A bit nauseating, but none of this is shocking, since Vin Parfait is brought to us by the mega wine corp Treasury Wine Estates, who own 54 brands on three continents. The 2009 Chardonnay tastes so completely manufactured that I hesitated writing this review. But I need to, since people will be seeing it on shelves and wonder if it’s any good. And they’ll likely think they’re buying a French wine… interesting marketing concept.

And it is drinkable… but predictable, non-distinctive and sweet. On the nose, it’s floral with oaky vanilla and pineapple. The tongue gets some smokiness from the oak, then the wine slathers on the buttered toast, pear and more vanilla. Medium-bodied with nary a hint of refreshing acidity, this Chardonnay (which is blended with 3% Riesling and 1.5% Muscat to give it some fragrance and to pump up the body even more) is designed for ladies to quaff at the hair salon, around the pool and before dinner. It offers nothing very original but an alternative to other Chardonnays on the market in the $10-$15 price range. Tough competition out there though but if you’d like to try a wine that actually tastes like the Chardonnay grape, look for unoaked versions (read up).

Sweetness: 3 out of 10
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Price: $12 – $15
Occasion: Sent as a sample from the winery.
Availability: Online through Cellar360 and at Target store nationwide.
Food pairing: Hmmm… maybe buttered popcorn? But the winery provides several recipes for food pairing.

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2 comments to Wine review: Vin Parfait 2009 Chardonnay California

  • Karina

    Such a pretty packaging too, but thanks for the warning. Do you have any recommendations for a good bottle of Muscat? Thanks!

  • Taylor Eason

    Karina: Domestic Muscats can be difficult to find, but Italians are kicking butt with them. Look for “Moscato d’Asti” on the label and you won’t be disappointed.

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