You have to give Big House Wines out of California some credit for not taking themselves too seriously, while still making great wine. I was fortunate enough to try the 2010 vintage of their Unchained "Naked" Chardonnay. And yes, the picture is the 2009 vintage label. My bottle and the liquid inside it disappeared before I even thought to take a picture. But hey, that's a good sign of how tasty this is!
Big House called their Unchained wine "naked," meaning that it is unoaked, at least the traditional way. Big House says,
We veered off the California standard by using steel tanks and neutral oak barrels; thereby preserving the true fruit characteristics of the Chardonnay grape.
The 2010 Big House Unchained Chardonnay smells of light tropical fruits and green apples. You sip and get creamy pear, Granny Smith apple, pineapple, and hints of peach. It is creamy, while still being bright and fresh, and having a good, semi-dry crisp finish. This is perfect wine for a hot weather gathering. Or it could be paired equally well with lighter salads or seafood. This is a very well-balanced wine.
Drink This: if you want a lively, fresh unoaked Chardonnay. Don't let the screw top fool you, at only $10 a bottle, this is a bargain!
Don't Drink This: if you are looking for an extra-heavy, buttery Chardonnay. This is much more crisp and bright, yet still maintains the Chardonnay backbone. Go find a bottle!