After tasting what I thought was a very delicious Chardonnay last summer, I shopped locally hoping to find that brand still on the shelves. I found it at my first stop, so immediately purchased one for a salmon dinner. What I liked about the Chardonnay last summer was the aromas and flavors of loads of lemon, apple, lots of stone fruit with just hints of butterscotch and vanilla spice. The fruit dominated this oaked Chard, but still left enough of the oak flavors which is what I seem to like more of in a Chardonnay. When I opened the bottle before dinner I immediately knew I had the wrong wine. This time it was all oak driven. Yes, there was some citrus and peach, but unlike what I tasted last year, it was dominated by the oak. The pairing with the fish was not bad. The dinner saved the wine. I had the right brand, but then realized that in July of last year it could not have been a 2011 and most likely a 2010. So, off I go again looking for the 2010. I could not find one anywhere, so I took the recommendations from the wine buyer at a larger store and picked up two other 2010 Sonoma County Chardonnays.
The first one was opened with Shirley's Chili. Not the best pairing, but not a failure either. The wine was a Sebastiani Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010 ($12). This wine did have a little more oak aromas and taste than what I was looking for, but I did find lot's of lemon, green apple and even some melon with some toasty oak and vanilla. Finish was nice with just hints of spice. An excellent wine with food I found out later when pouring a night cap while catching up on a little home office duties. Sipping on it's own was so-so, but when I made a small salad and added some very light cheese, I enjoyed that glass and poured another. This is also a wine I would like to try with scallops or Maryland crab. Well worth the $12 I paid. Recommended