My wife and I have never really taken to chardonnay. The buttery, rich, vanilla flavours created by being in oak barrels, has never appealed to us, so we do not tend to buy chardonnay.
Unoaked chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel tanks, no oak, results in a wine that appears to me to be lighter, cleaner, more refreshing. We recently discovered this style aligns more with our palate preference. Since then we have been on the lookout for good unoaked values.
Anakena produces a great quality unoaked chardonnay for only $9.99 at major NSLC outlets. Aside from the unattractive smell (wet dog rolls in spilled fruit juice?) this chardonnay is pretty good. It has a pleasant mouthfeel, zesty melon and grapefruity flavours, has a crisp acidity and is nicely balanced.
On a side note we visited Anakena in 2008. Anakena is a lovely winery in Chile, in the Rapel Valley, in the foothill of the Andes. We enjoyed a nice tasting on the lawn and had a pleasant stroll through the vineyard as the sun set.