What really bugs me is when an enthusiast latches onto a tiny bit of wine information with a kernel of truth in it but so ridiculously more faceted and complicated than the black & white they paint it. Anyone who says “I don’t like oak in my Chardonnay.” or “I only drink SS Chards.” gets an immediate asterisk from me.
What if I told you the Chardonnay LIKES the oak? Sure, the 90’s were probably more damaging to Chardonnay than Sideways was to Merlot, and several brands have persevered in those oak-aide paths, but we’re not here to talk about them. We’re here to talk about how much Chardonnay loves oak, how the oxidative and spice properties–even with limited new barrels–make the wine GLOW. What, you think white burg is aged in SS?
Chardonnay NEEDS the barrel like a stripper needs clear-heels and macaroni needs cheese. And this is a true RRV beauty, with probably a rotating used-barrel programme perfectly caressing the pretty floral, seashell, saline musk and melon. Bright and ripe, with heady alcohol and pure pear nectar, Donald Patz KNOWS his way around Burgundian varieties and I’m sorry to hijack this review with that rant, but I feel it needs to be said.
2017 MARITANA VINEYARDS Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma14.5