Well, tonight my chardonnay-loving palate is focusing on a 2006 Kenneth Volk Sierra Madre Vineyard Chardonnay (California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley).
This Central Coast California chardonnay is bold yellow colored with thick streaming legs in the glass. It has a lush, full nose of green pear and honeysuckle, with an underlying lemon cream pie aroma. Over time, more roasted peanuts came out on the nose.
On the palate, this is big and boisterous. It definitely falls on the right wing of my chardonnay spectrum. There's a thickness on the palate, like someone blended whipped butter and lemon rinds together and stirred it with a charred oak stave. There’s a flavor like a combination of green pear and toasted marshmallow, leaving a bit of sweetness on the palate to linger with the creamy oak. Believe it or not, this warm-climate, Central Coast chardonnay actually has some goddamn acidity! I love and require acid in my chardonnays, but at the same time I do like that creaminess, and I’m open to oak influences. This wine really rides that line of maintaining balance while showing some of those classic California traits.
Look, this wine is what it is. Yet, despite its viscosity and bold flavors, it’s not out of whack. At least, not to my palate.
89 points IJB