After the fun rosé I experienced from Stinson Vineyards, I was curious and hopeful about what their Chardonnay would present. Chardonnay is something I’m not stranger to. It’s the most widely planted wine grape here in California. Styles span a whole spectrum — from oaky, creamy “butterbombs,” to crystal clear and crisp. How a Chardonnay presents relies almost entirely on the winemaker and less so on the soil. But a chance to taste from the east coast doesn’t present itself very often. So I was eager to taste what the other side of our States had so say about California’s great white grape.

About the Wine: The Stinson Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from Mount Juliet Vineyards in the Monticello AVA of White Hall, Virginia. Lightly pressed grapes were fermented and aged sur lies in 100% French oak (15% new) for 10 months. Approximately half of the wine went through secondary, malolactic fermentation.

13.2% ABV

Flavor Profile: Pop the cork on the Stinson Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay and breathe in yeast bread going through its second rise and ready for the oven. The Chardonnay is near clear on the pour with just a hint of golden straw. In the glass it’s just a shade darker, duller, cloudier. There’s no escaping that yeasty, doughy sent. It’s paired along nicely with scents of apples, honey, and fresh water. Swirl and find more honey notes, a bit of florals mixed with acidity that create a kind of beauty counter perfume, and an almost tropical scent underlined with banana.

The palate of the Stinson Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay has a surprisingly strong acidity that cuts through the body. Surrounding that acidic line is a round texture. On the finish there’s an almost dryness that lends to its “completeness.” Dominant flavors are of agave nectar, white flowers, green apple, persimmon, a hint of popcorn, and a hint of pastry. The finish lingers with a tingle and a note of white heat.

Food Pairing: This was a fine white wine. And I’d say pair it with a decadent cheesy dish that will ultimately take over. To my palate, the flavors and textures of this wine were a bit disparate, not fully engaged with one another and, all-together a bit confused. It’s still a white wine drinkers white wine, and can be paired well with a fun, easy meal any day of the week.

More Info: I received the Stinson Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay as a sample for review. (Cheers Sam!) Retail: $23.99 For more information about Stinson Vineyards, their wine, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Stinson Vineyards website.

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