This Chardonnay from Byron was aged 10 months in 25% new and 75%older French oak. 93% of the grapes are from Nielson Vineyard and 7% from Sierra Madre, vines being between 29-39 years old. The growing season here is one of the longest in California.
The color in the glass is a golden, medium yellow, straw. Sticking my nose in the glass citrus, ripe Golden Delicious apple, tropical fruit, and white floral meets me with oak notes. Tasting, it shows a pretty heavy texture with, again, the citrus, tropical fruit, and oak. Medium acidity and medium length finish. This is a slightly more heavy white then I expected and I suspect it might be due to it being past prime.
I have had the Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay from Byron several times in the past of different vintages and it never seemed this heavy to me. It has always been more refreshing with great acidity and more light fruit. I suspect that was what the 2003 had to offer a year or more ago...
I do not recommend buying the 2003 vintage, as it seems to be past prime, but if you find a more recent vintage, grab it. This wine has a reputation of being of high and consistent quality.
Find it a Wine-Searcher.com from $16.99.
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