Comparison Tasting: Don Simon Seleccion (Spain) and Younts Wine Farm (North Carolina)

Recommendation: Younts Wine Farm is probably the best North Carolina Chardonnay we’ve had.

Winery/Producer: Don Simon Seleccon: Bottled by: J. Garcia Carrion; Murcia, Spain. Younts Wine Farm: Produced & bottled by:Yadkin Valley Wine Company; Hamptonville, North Carolina for Younts Wine Farm.

Grape Variety: Chardonnay.

Geographic Region, Appellation: Don Simon Seleccon: Spain. Younts Wine Farm: Stokes County, North Carolina.

Vintage: Don Simon Seleccon: Non-vintage. Younts Wine Farm: 2011

Price: Don Simon Seleccon: $3.99 Younts Wine Farm: $16.00

Purchased From: Don Simon Seleccon: Whole Food Market; Greensboro, North Carolina. Younts Wine Farm: Farmers Market, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Paired With: Lentil soup and Murray’s Greensward cheese with French bread.


    He said: At a recent visit to the Greensboro, North Carolina farmers market we were confronted with several local vineyards selling their wine. Most produce “fruit wine” but we tasted those that had varietal grape wine, asking to taste their driest wine. We tasted several and after walking around went back to the one we liked best and bought a bottle of Chardonnay. Later that same morning we went to the Whole Food Market and saw their huge Spanish Chardonnay display and thought it would be fun to taste their wine with the local Chardonnay. So we had the stage set for an interesting side-by-side tasting… but to be honest, we’re prejudice…we like Spanish wines and think their an excellent value and we’re simply not very positive about North Carolina wines!!!

    Both were chilled before drinking. The Younts Wine was oat straw color typical of Chardonnay that’s been in the bottle a few years; the Don Simon was very pale silver green color. The Don Simon had a tropical fruit aroma and the Younts was fresh melon and caramel with hints of cinnamon. But this is where the two really separated. The Younts wine had a medium to full body, slightly creamy mouth-feel and just enough vanilla and butter so it didn’t overpower the fruity taste, actually it was similar to traditional barrel fermented California Chardonnay; the Don Simon had a slightly stainless steel taste that was on the bitter side. As they warmed up the difference became even larger. The Younts stayed pretty much the same, but the Don Simon became thin and even more metallic. No question about which I thought was better, the Younts Chardonnay was a step above the other North Carolina Chardonnay we have reviewed and at a better price. It’s smooth as silk, and packed with Chardonnay flavors. I would say this is probably the best North Carolina Chardonnay we’ve had and it’s noteworthy because it’s a better buy than our past favorites and comes from a vineyard just up the road.

    She said: This interesting challenge occurred to us because we have not had many good North Carolina Chardonnays and wondered how whole food’s inexpensive Spanish Chardonnay would compare and I was very surprised by the results. The Younts Chardonnay was medium yellow and clear, very different from the Don Simon that was almost colorless with just a pale straw colored tint. The initial taste of the Don Simon was flavorful, but it went downhill after that with a simple citrus taste and slight bitterness followed by a regrettably long finish. The Younts had a mild aroma but lots of buttery flavors, a smooth mouth feel and long tasty finish that was delicious with both the cheese and soup. The difference in price of the two wines was substantial, so perhaps the comparison was not really fair. The Don Simon was “drinkable”, but that’s the best I can say for it. The Younts on the other hand offered so much more it was actually a better value! I am not fond of many North Carolina wines, but I like this one and if you want to support local vineyards in North Carolina the Younts Wine Farm Chardonnay is an excellent choice.

    Younts Wine Farm vineyard in Walnut Cove, North Carolina
    Comments: The Whole Food Market’s Don Simon Chardonnay was so bad, even for the $3.99 price they are doing a disservice to inexpensive Spanish wines. This is a case where the very cheap mass produced product is simply a poor value. When you take into account of the price of the bottle, label, boxing, shipping and the retailers profit there is only a few cents left for the price of the wine…and that’s what your buying. People frequently ask us to recommend wines that cost less than $5 and we continually tell them there are very few of them. We do sometimes find some VERY EXCELLENT wines under $10 though, see our list of wines priced under $10 that we have reviewed. Better yet, see our extensive list of high quality wines priced under $15 in our Quality wines at a bargain price category.

Alcohol: Don Simon Seleccon: 11.5% Younts Wine Farm: 12.5%

UPC Code: Don Simon Seleccon: 0 17619 01810 4 Younts Wine Farm: NA

Imported by: CIV; Sacramento, California.

Photo from Younts Wine Farm.