WINE REVIEWS: A QUARTET OF CHARDONNAYS
by Andrew Chalk
Chalk Hill 2019 Chardonnay, Chalk Hill Appellation, Sonoma Co., CA ($16)
The most ‘Californian’ of the wines. Intense French oak, tropical fruit (pineapple, mango), firm phenolic backbone. Long, oaky finish. Definitely one to be quaffed rather than paired with food.
Sebastiani 2019 ‘Steel’ Chardonnay, Carneros, Sonoma County, CA ($23)
As might be expected this wine was a dramatic contrast from the Chalk Hill. With no oak age the wine expresses clear pineapple, grapefruit, and yellow apple fruit. It also shows the beneficent effects of wood, particularly new French oak, on chardonnay. This feels like a denuded wine. Barcelona without Messi. France without the TGV. Of course, it’s a matter of taste.
Ferrari Carano 2018 Tré Tere Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA ($33)
A third style, no less. Bright acid, citrus flavors of lemon and lime predominate, underripe peach. Pair with poultry or white-sauce pasta dishes.
Trapiche 2019 Chardonnay, Medalla, Mendoza, Argentina ($14)
A different style again. Did divine forces contrive it? This is like a blend of the Ferrari Carano and Ancient Peaks. Either way, it is a successful combination. The wine is high acid, fruit-driven by apple, white peach, and grapefruit. Lively and attractively fruity in the mouth. Best for quaffing.