Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Saintsbury 2005 Chardonnay, Estate (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)


2005 Chardonnay, Estate
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

At a recent retrospective tasting of Saintsbury’s Pinot Noirs dating to 1986, this Chardonnay – poured while the throng gathered – was almost an afterthought. More’s the pity, because what we have here is another in a growing litany of Napa Valley Chardonnays that shouldn’t be forsaken, for Chardonnay’s sake.

Yes, there are some sweet oak aromas, but it’s only a hint. Most important, the wine is perfectly balanced. The oak gives it the roundness and richness to make this an elegant wine that exhibits true Chardonnay characteristic. It’s even a bit austere, which is fine because that means it will age nicely for several years. It lingers in the mouth displaying some weight. It’s a beautiful example of what a California Chardonnay could be.

The wine was fermented for eight months in French oak with 20 percent of the wood being new; and the rest used once to three years. The wine also went through 100 percent malolactic fermentation. It was bottled without filtration. There were 15,236 cases produced.

Reviewed October 25, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Saintsbury
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Chardonnay
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 375ml $11.99, 750ml $19.99

Review Date: 10/25/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.