2002 Storrs Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

Several years ago I fell in love with un-oaked Chardonnay, through the whites of Burgundy and some of the Chardonnays of Australia. As I drank this wine, I thought to myselft, “aaah, what a nice thing that someone is doing Chardonnay without oak in California.” Storrs has made one of the best white wines from the Santa Cruz mountains that I have ever tasted. Imagine my surprise when I found out that a full 70% of the wine had been aged in New French Oak, and pushed through malolactic fermentation! Whoever made this wine knows how to finesse the elements normally associated with these two winemaking practices and subjugate them to the flavors of the fruit.

Tasting Notes:
Excellent light style lets the fruit and floral aspects of the wine shine through without being caked in the butter that comes from malolactic fermentation or the oakiness that I would have expected had I read the winemakers notes before drinking. The nose blossoms with asian pears, a hint of kiwi, and honeydew melon, and on the tongue it feels solid, cool, and full of fruit. The finish is clean and refreshing.

Food Pairing:
This is a refreshing Chardonnay that could go head to head with some Sauvignon Blancs as a pairing for goat cheese and other soft ripe cheeses. I would drink it with sushi, or with baked sole in butter and garlic.

Overall score: 9

How much?: $21

I got this wine as part of a club shipment from Porthos last month. It is available for sale on their site as well as other sites on the Internet.