Santa Barbara: J. Wilkes 2015 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley
Complex and rich, this Chardonnay shows why cool climate Chard can be so perfect. Its well rounded as hell; little oak, little butter, little acid, little fruit, little mineral. Wes did a great job making the perfect wine for food, or on its own.
Nose: Orange blossoms wafting near toasting French oak staves, savory apple and lime zest, browned butter and brûlée, clean ocean breeze, hints of tropical fruit (guava/pineapple), complex and surprisingly integrated for such young Chardonnay.
Palate: Apple crème brûlée, lime zest and citrus blossom, rich with a flavor akin to pears poached in butter. Firm acid, quite dry, but supported by a good dollop of fruity and oak-toasted richness. Slightly leaner style than 2013, but with enough malolactic and oak treatment to leave no doubt this is a crafty and deliciously balanced Chardonnay.