Appearance: Medium straw with gilded highlights, brilliant clarity.
Aromatics: A wonderful marriage of bright apple flesh and skin, pear, orange blossom, echoes of topicality and a chalk-like mineral note, enough fine French oak/browned butter to show proper elevage, but the oak treatment elevates and spices the delicacy and balance of the wine's aromatics.
Palate: Seamless transition in the palate from broad and savory attack (entry), a bright and oak-influenced mid-palate, and a lingering finish that shows just enough malolatcic character to give a hint of butter and roundness to tame the just-less-than-stern acid structure from the Santa Maria Valley's foggy mornings and cold nights. More oak/toast in the attack and then becomes much more structured and less oaky in the mid-palate and finish.
Food Pairing: Round and soft enough to sip, bright and lively enough to cleanse the palate between bites of Maine lobster with drawn butter, fried clams, roast or fried chicken, pancetta-wrapped halibut in beurre blanc or BBQ brisket.
Wine EnthusiastApple custard, green apple peels and a bit of barrel warmth entertain the nose on this reasonably priced wine from a highly reliable appellation. Flavors are straightforward, with ripe golden pears and lemon peels.
Wine AdvocateA decent value, the 2013 Chardonnay has lots of apple, stone fruits and toasty notes to go with a medium-bodied, slightly mid-weight, yet balanced and enjoyable feel on the palate. Drink it over the coming year or two.