This is a stunning example of what California Chardonnay can and should be. With rich savory aromas of toffee, vanilla and spice, the palate is very focused with lovely tropical fruit and some spicy overtones. On top of that there are beautiful caramel and spice flavors on the very long length.
The interesting minerality and excellent acidity make this a beautiful example of Napa Valley Chardonnay. This wine shows great extraction but is not overly concentrated. This means that the flavors are deep rather than superficial. While there are pretty fruit flavors, the overall tone of the wine is savory-ish.
The grapes for this wine were sourced from Napa Valley (pretty obvious, huh) and Carneros. Carneros actually straddles both Napa and Sonoma Counties. I’m not sure on which side these grapes grow.
The winery calls this a rich, ripe, classic Chardonnay. I think it’s more a modern version of California Chardonnay. The words rich and ripe harken back to the Cali Chards of yore – too rich, too ripe, too concentrated; not to mention too much oak.
This wine avoids all those pratfalls, and is what should be classic California Chardonnay. It has lovely fruit, excellent nuance from the oak (nuance being key here), beautiful balance, complexity and length.
Yorkshire Wines (1646 1st Avenue, NYC; 212.717.5100) sells this wine for an unbelievable $14 per bottle. Stock up.
For red wine drinkers, the Merlot is equally easy to recommend.