As I’ve said before, I prefer leaner-style chardonnays with moderate levels of alcohol and subtle oak treatment. There’s nothing wrong with those brawny, buttery wines, but in general they’re not my cup of tea. Gainey Vineyard in California’s Santa Barbara County makes chardonnay in this leaner style. It is consistently good, and the 2010 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay is no exception.
As always, the wine is beautifully balanced, and in this vintage it presents a delicious combination of Bartlett pear, butterscotch, citrus and a touch of cinnamon. Try it with all kinds of fish, chicken and pork dishes or enjoy it on its own. Alcohol is 13.9 percent and the suggested price of $22 makes it a very good value worth seeking out. Gainey’s website says it’s sold out at the winery, but I imagine it’s around in any number of stores. Received as a press sample.