Sunday, April 11, 2010

MacCrostie Chardonnay 2007

For the first wine I tasted in my attempts to gain a better appreciation of California Chardonnay, I turned to a Macrostie 2007 from Carneros. I bought a 375 ml version (in fact, the main reason I picked it is because it was available in 375 at my local wine shop), intending to taste against a variety of style, but got a bit greedy and tasted it on its own. No matter, as it provides a good launching point to California Chard.

I tasted without reading any winery notes, reviews, etc (which I will try to do for all wines). I typically avoid Chardonnay in the $20.00 range as I expect (right or wrong) that I will find something out of balance, usually the oak treatment, but almost as often, the ML or ripeness is out of whack. But I was tremendously surprised by the balance. I'm not sure if restrained richness is an oxymoron, but I found that the weight (which was noticeable) never teetered to the overwhelming. Surprisingly, the oak was a background player offering mild vanilla and spicey notes, but never interfering with the richer apple tart elements. It's a little richer than I typically like, but an almost refreshing citrusy acidity kept the wine mostly in balance.

What surprises me more than anything is that the style was very Californian, something I try to avoid. But the winemaker did a great job in harmonizing the elements. I actually expected that I would be trashing this wine, but so much for preconceived notions. This isn't to say that this is the greatest wine I've ever had, but that I genuinely enjoyed it at it's price.

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