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I attended a practice blind tasting last night for the WSET Level 3 exam.  One of the wines we drank was this Chardonnay.  It was obvious from the first whiff that this was a Cali doozy.  I wrote that the wine was a medium shade of lemon and had a medium (+) intensity nose of……. toast, butter, bread, acacia, melon and banana, I found it youthful.  Read those descriptors again.  There is no mention of citrus or stone.  The palate was much the same in flavors with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body and was obviously dry in nature.  This is a developing wine with plenty of potential to age.  I thought it was good to outstanding and would think it gets 92 points.  At $60 a pop, this highly rated (94-95 by the pros) wine gets 5 stars.

My initial reaction to smelling this wine was that it had been worked over pretty hard.  When I say that, I mean it went through Malolactic Conversion/Fermentation and I even thought it had been treated Sur Lie.  I was right.  The winery notes mention both processes and explain why it was sooo buttery, with heavy doses of bread, toast etc.  It’s not my style of wine, but I took the half bottle home to revisit it.  Paired with a rice and chicken dish it did okay, but the overpowering tertiary notes are really not up my alley.  If you like a rich, full-on Napa/Sonoma Chardonnay with gobs of upfront tertiary notes, go for it.  At least try it once.  Drink till 2030.  Salut….