This Chard is a classic, coming from a winery that has been making wine in Sonoma County since the 1970s. Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay 2009, $26, is a bright gold color that leads to heady aromas of apple, sweet pear, hazelnut and lemon zest. On the palate it’s still tightly stitched — it needs time to warm up in the glass to reveal the beauty of its dry, tart-crisp fruit, the blast of alcohol (14.4 percent), the viscous texture in the midpalate, the acidity and river of spicy oak. It was fermented off the natural yeasts on the grape skins, and aged in small, fine-grained oak barrels for eight months. It comes off higher elevation vineyards in Alexander Valley and Bennett Valley that are estate-owned. Matanzas Creek is famous around the world for its magnificent field of lavender plants and garden. I have probably reviewed their wines for 30 years.
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