The 2009 Estancia Monterrey County Chardonnay is sourced from Estancia’s Estate Pinnacles Ranch Vineyard located in the Salinas Valley of Monterrey County AVA, California. Half of the Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels and the other half aged in stainless steel vats, giving the wine both the buttery, smooth oak influence and the bright, fresh fruit of the stainless steel aged wine. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The wine is the color of apple juice. The nose is buttered toast, crisp apples, Anjou pear and buttercream frosting. The oak is very nicely balanced, you get the butter, you get creamy, but it is not heavy-handed, just a nice light touch. There is a soft smooth mouthfeel, with a nice counterbalance of tart fruit on the mid-palate. It tastes of carmel apples, fresh peach and pear, lemon chiffon and butter rum candy. The mid-palate adds faint pineapple and lime. The acidity is mild and while the finish is not strong, it does hang on for a while.
The Estancia Monterrey County Chardonnay is a single vineyards, best of both world (both oaked and unoaked) Chardonnay that should sell for around ten bucks. It is definitely not short on flavor , it tends toward mellow and juicy, rather than bright and tart. There is a little weight to the body of the wine, that gives it some depth and makes Estancia a good wine to enjoy on its own or grab the recipe book to find a dish that will match this Chardonnay’s delicious flavor.