St. Helena, California, USA
$13.99 -- HEB, Austin, TX
Color: Light gold
Nose: Orange peel, roasted peach, chipotle butter, clove
Front: Banana bread pudding
Middle: Butter, scotch (not butterscotch!)
Back: Cilantro, sage, cedar
Burns clean?: Yes
Take two, on yet another frigid Texas night. I enjoyed visiting St. Clement's tasting room a couple of years ago on a trip to Napa, though the Chardonnay didn't make a deep impression on me at the time. Still, the price seemed too good to be skipped this afternoon. I did not know about the busted pipes at home, when I got this, so we will mentally put ourselves back in those happy hours to cleanse our emotional palate before tasting this. Ahem. Here we go.
The nose on this wine is intriguing, especially for a white--I might mistake it for a really well-made Chilean red, completely blind. The palate is soft, round, yet with a decent amount of the spice you get in the nose. There is plenty of oak up front and in the middle, which helps with the roundness; there's not a whole lot of fruit or acidity--it might not age well. But it's an interesting Chardonnay for this price, and will pair well with food.