Chalone Appellation, Pinnacles National Monument, Monterey County, CA
$10, down from $14, at the Oakland, CA, store on 29 Oct
I had avoided this wine for a while, but when the price was reduced to $10, I got a bottle. It is fantastic Chardonnay. It would have been a great bargain at the original price, but it is even more so at the new price.
The wine has a lovely nose, with flavors of ripe yellow apple with some pineapple, a little green apple, hazelnut / caramel, thyme, and supporting oak. It is ripe and viscous, but balanced nicely with mildly lemony acid. While it is full-flavored and gently viscous, it is very nicely nuanced and complex. It was tasty right away, but it really integrated well after about 1.5 hours of air in a decanter in the fridge, and kept improving from there. (Although in the fridge, I thought it was best a bit warmed from fridge temp.) While I expect it could hold on well for a while longer in cool storage, with its flavors moving more toward the darker yellow / hazelnut / caramel, there’s no reason, IMO, to wait to drink it.
This is easily the best Chardonnay I’ve had in a long time, including non-GO purchases. I can still taste it in my mouth long after the last sip.