More and more lately I'm finding that I "used to" be a fan of buttery, oaky California Chardonnays. Part of me believes that my preference has changed a little bit, but a bigger part of me believes that California producers went overboard in their pursuit of oak and richness in their Chardonnays. As a result, many of the Chardonnays that I was used to drinking moved to more and more oak and richer, more buttery styles. Thankfully, I think that some California producers are finally starting to recognize that its not all about oak and ridiculously full body. A good Chardonnay needs some acidity and structure to balance things out.
Well that sure is a long lead in and a whole lot of talk about oak before we get to this Sebastiani Chardonnay from Sonoma County. Aged sur lies in French and Hungarian oak for 9 months, this wine gives you enough oak to satisfy those who like oaky Chardonnays without being so much that it completely overwhelms everything else. In your glass, you see a wine with a nice light straw color. The nose is dominated by apple with notes of pear, grapefruit and butterscotch. The palate sees more apple and definitely has a vanilla oak influence on the finish, but it is far from over the top. The wine is medium-full in body and pretty good overall, although I would like to see a little more acidity, but that may be getting a little picky for a wine that retails for $11.
Overall, this wine is a very solid value for the $11 price tag. It is a nice everyday wine that will go well with an everyday meal like chicken on the grill.