This is some PALE Chardonnay, and I love the freshness the color represents. Dipping your nose into it reveals a concentration of nuances far beyond visual inclinations. Deep, rich buttery brilliance, ripe tropical nectar of mango and guava, a bit of banana savory, and smoky, earthy splendor.

Of course–with this brand–you’re going to get a fat chunk of the things Europeans give California Chardonnay asterisks for. It’s just a given, and there’s no point in fighting it. Just lie back and let the Chardonnay flow over you. This variety loves malo and it loves oak: the relationship between these elements are nearly obligatory on the west coast. This doesn’t necessarily preclude an application of acid and fresh fruit though–as detractors will insist. Rich floral on intake introduces supple pear and almond, the thick reflection of sur lie aging in barrel glowing at every turn. Crispness in balance is key here, and the whole wine reeks of old-vine maturity coupled with modern cleanliness and perfection. But it’s a big, sweet, monster, lavishing icing on every surface while subtle instances of structure wait patiently in the background.

2019 MARITANA Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Shop Block 1967 Russian River Valley Sonoma Co. 14.0


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