Cellar No. 8 Chardonnay 2010, $8-$10: This northern Sonoma County winery has a reputation for dry reds that are affordable and satisfy demanding palates. The Chardonnay, however, pleasantly surprised me with its zesty personality, its fruit-forward punch of apple, pear, white peach and nectarine, even with hints of spicy oak. It’s now on my go-to list of affordable Chardonnays (think Woodbridge, Cupcake, Beringer, Cono Sur) that I can pour with confidence. Cellar No. 8 is made at the old, historic Asti Winery that dates to the late 1800s, founded by an Italian immigrant who established the Italian and Swiss community that made the brand Italian Swiss Colony Wine, at Asti. One of the buildings at Asti Winery is named Cellar No. 8. This Chardonnay is widely available in supermarkets and stores — the label is hard to miss.
Resident wine expert Sandra Silfven on all things vino
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