We had the Rusack Pinot Noir not to long ago and really enjoyed it , so when I saw the Chardonnay the other day in the store, I just had to grab it to give it a try.
The grapes for the 2005 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay comes from Bien Nacido and Goodchild Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, and Huber Vineyard and Rancho Santa Rosa in Santa Rita Hills. Both are cool climate appellations with maritime influence. It went through partial malolactic fermentation (70%) and was aged 9 months prior to bottling, in 32% new and 68% older French oak.
This wine has a golden straw color in the glass. On the nose ripe apple, citrus and pronounced oak. Tasting it, the apple and citrus steps out again with some light tropical fruit and the buttery creaminess from the malolactic fermentation and oak. It has a round soft mouth feel, and moderate acidity. I wish it had some more to stand up to the buttery creaminess. Our neighbor on the other hand who prefers her Chardonnay in this style thought it was very nice and well balanced. As always, it is all about preference...
Conclusion: Although nice fruit and good acidity I thought it was a little bit to oaky and creamy for my taste, but just slightly. So, if you like the round, buttery, creamy chardonnays (just for your comparison it is not as oaky/creamy as a Rombauer Chardonnay) I think this would be a great wine for you. It has a good price as well, only $18.88 at Wine-Searcher.com. For that price it is certainly a good deal for a good quality Chardonnay.
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