Anaba’s Winning 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

California chardonnay is often a difficult proposition for me. So much oak, so much alcohol, so little balance. That is, of course, a big generalization, but after so much criticism of the style, it’s remarkable how many California chardonnays are still made in that clumsy, overbearing style.

One that is not is Anaba’s 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, a subtle and beautifully balanced wine that is also an excellent value at $28. There is opulent fruit here, to be sure, evoking apple with an orange punctuation mark. There are floral and vanilla notes as well along with subtle touches of caramel and butterschotch from judicious oak treatment.

This is medium-bodied chardonnay with alcohol listed at 13.9 percent. And that medium-ness, so to speak, is part of what makes it stand out. It’s “easy” to drink in the sense that it invites you back to sip and savor it it again. Enticiing and complex, a wine that other California producers  might do well to taste -- and contemplate. Received as a press sample.

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