Etude Chardonnay Estate Carneros 2010

etude-chardonnay-estate-carneros-2010Chardonnay is king in Carneros – at least that’s what the locals say – and the folks at Etude Wines can safely level this claim. Well, perhaps a princely one.

For the Chard faithful who’ve had it with mouthfuls of malolactic, this offering might just bail out the butter. On the pale side of golden, the wine gives off a gentle, pleasant aroma – a little toasty, a little zesty. Its time in steel and neutral oak barrels leaves ample room for the estate-grown fruit’s qualities to breathe. Supported by a firm spine of acidity, the flavors cover a range from a dollop of cream and modestly toasty vanilla to mineral-infused pear and pineapple. The touch of heat on the finish isn’t surprising given a 14.2% alcohol content. That aside, it’s one lean, long, alert Chardonnay.

As a PLCB Chairman’s Selection at $17.99, this is a honey of a deal. Online pricing skews considerably higher, starting around $28. 89-91

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