Appellation: Mendocino County
Suggested Retail: $13.99
“Chardonnay can come in many styles. At opposite ends of the taste spectrum would be the lean, perhaps subtler, wines like French Chablis and the big oaky and creamy versions more common in California. This Bonterra wine strikes a nice balance between the two. Made of organically-grown grapes, it exhibits tasty green apple and Bartlett pear flavors which give it a richness. This is offset—perhaps complemented would be a better way of saying it—by a bit of minerality and some bracing citrus qualities. Seventy percent was fermented in oak barrels and the balance in stainless steel. The stainless steel fermentation tends to let the fresh and crisp aspects come through and the small percentage of new oak (winery says 16%) gives some vanilla characteristics.
“The 2012 Bonterra Chardonnay isn't a 'stunner,' but is a good example of a versatile style that will please many and is well-worth the $14 price.”
Food Affinity: “Some sort of baked chicken dish involving a creamy sauce and served with morels and topped with sliced almonds.”