As one who tends to hate the combination of oak and young Chardonnay, I was surprised at the deft touch at which the oak was used here. It spent 10 months in barrel, with 50% in new French oak, and the rest in essentially neutral, 3- or 4-year-old barrels. Released in April 2009, I only tasted it this month, time which, according to SCV founder John Drady, allowed the flavors to continue to develop and integrate. Now it’s got a fairly hefty body with an herbal tinge, with some more vanilla and some minerality, too, and amedium-length mineral-pear finish. Good with autumnal and winter foods like butternut squash and herbed salmon.
WHO: Sonoma Coast Vineyard
WHERE: Sonoma Coast, California
HOW MUCH: $34 (media sample)