I don’t often write about chardonnay. A check of the archives, in fact, shows that I’ve never designated one as a Wine of the Week in this blog. The problem is that a lot of affordable chardonnay just isn’t all that interesting. The wines aren’t bad, but they’re not worth singling out.
At $22, this Gainey chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County is a happy exception. It’s fresh and creamy, with lots of lemony fruit, some golden apple and a saline quality that kept me coming back for more. There’s just a kiss of oak that adds richness, but the wine isn’t at all heavy. It’s a refreshing accompaniment to grilled shellfish or firm white fish like halibut.