As a cycling wine drinker I had to try Red Bicyclette Chardonnay. Quite why it’s Red Bicyclette and not Bicyclette Rouge or Red Bicycle I really don’t know, but it did make me break my basic rule of not choosing wines for cute labels or names.
It’s a bright, pale lemon colour with some grey-green elements. It smelled of dried apricots and melon, with a hint of oiliness. Unusually for a French Chardonnay it was off-dry, with a medium acidity. It’s from the south of France, which was warm even in 2005, but this felt a little flabby. There was a little wood, and 13% alcohol adding up to a medium body.
It tastes a little of melon, apples and pears, with some minerality. It has a flat finish, which seems dominated by the sweetness.
This simply didn’t seem very French, nor did it feel well integrated or together. Perhaps that’s because although it’s grown in southern France it’s made by Gallo, the American wine producers. I suspect it may be made primarily for the American market.
At around £5 a bottle, there’s better Chardonnay’s available, and I’d probably opt for a Californian or Australian one instead of this if I was in the mood for inexpensive, easy drinking, gluggable Chardonnay.