Lots to like in this ripe Chardonnay. It has fruit-forward pineapple, kiwi and apricot flavors, brightened with citrusy acidity, and enriched by sweet, smoky oak. A rich, elegant wine to drink now with lamb, ahi tuna or by itself as an appetizer.
There’s a lot of oak on this Chard, sourced from multiple vineyards, and the barrel influences currently dominate, with the vanilla, butterscotch and caramel flavors many people confuse with the taste of Chardonnay itself. In this case, the underlying pineapple, pear and green apple fruit is ample enough to support all that weight.
This is a new, reserve-style wine from veteran Ferrari-Carano. It shows its cool-climate origins in the brisk acidity that boosts well-ripened pineapple tart, green apple sauce, and Key lime pie flavors. It’s also extremely oaky, and would be a better wine if it had less barrel influence.
Vineyard sources for the winery’s reserve tier of Chardonnay have bounced around over the years. Now, it’s Russian River, but this Chard is far from Ferrari-Carano’s best. It has decent peach and apple fruit, but with a thin brittleness inappropriate for this price, and all that new oak doesn’t really help.