Fontanafredda Langhe Chardonnay

Fontanafredda Langhe Chardonnay 2021

Price: $20.95
Channel: LCBO Vintages

Producer: Fontanafredda
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Appellation: Langhe DOC

Grapes: Chardonnay
Alcohol by Volume: 13%
Sugar Content: 3 grams per litre

God bless Oscar Farinetti, the modular furniture tycoon who cashed out and founded Eataly and bought Barolo’s most famous winery, Fonatanfredda. Farinetti has proven to be a great democratizer of fine food and wine who embodies the principles of his friend and collaborator Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement. Farinetti’s management of Fontanafredda has been particularly good for discerning winos on a budget, since their wines consistently offer a remarkably high quality to price ratio for the products of a region where bargains are rare.

I have written before that Italian Chardonnay is more than often a great deal, since the vines would have almost certainly been planted in the 1980’s or 90’s when the grape was at the height of fashion. Now, it’s indigenous grapes that command the interest of critics and consumers, and Chardonnay from outside of Burgundy is viewed with suspicion even though the 30 or 40 year old vines are at their peak age of production.

The 2021 Fontanafredda Langhe Chardonnay is a perfect example of a clean, citrus driven, mineral wine can be made from the grape. The chalky, limestone rich soils in this part of Piedmont to great service Chardonnay, and this wine is made in a no nonsense way in steel tanks that preserves its acidic vibrancy and crisp lemon notes that nevertheless hits the mid-palate with a bit of weight and touch of honey on the finish. It’s a lovely aperitif on it’s own, or paired with fish or egg dishes. At $21 bottle it’s well worth trying.