Californian wines are somewhat under-represented in the UK. Here are a couple of impressive Sonoma Chardonnays that I liked quite a bit, and which show restraint, balance and complexity.
Marimar Estate Son Miguel Vineyard Chardonnay ‘Acero’ Unoaked 2009 Russian River Valley, Sonoma
13.5% alcohol. Powerful and rich textured with pear and peach fruit as well as a nice spicy freshness. Really intense and crisp but with delicious richness, too, showing apricot and pear notes on the lush palate. Brilliant example of unoaked Chardonnay at its best. 92/100
Schug Carneros Chardonnay 2009 Carneros, California
14.5% alcohol. Tight, fresh and intense citrusy fruit is very bright with a hint of peachy richness. Firm, spicy supporting oak with some toasty notes. Some oily richness on the finish. Powerful yet aiming at restraint. 90/100 (£16.99 Marks & Spencer)
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