Saintsbury Chardonnay, Unfiltered, Carneros, 2008

Saintsbury has made the classic Burgundian pair of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir since our first vintage in 1981. Pinot Noir has all the limelight now, but Chardonnay is a classic variety - yet sometimes gets little respect - been there, done that seems to be the refrain. The lack of respect may have to do with its ubiquity (hey, Mozart is played everywhere, but that doesn't make him any less a genius) and the tact that Chardonnay styles are all over the map. Ours is barrel-fermented (to add complexity and integrate the oak character), completes malo-lactic and is aged on the lees (to enhance texture and mouthfeel). Our grapes are Carneros-grown, and Carneros is to Chardonnay what Vermont is to maple syrup-one of the best places to grow it anywhere. The result is a wine with subtle seasoning of oak and lees, good acidity, ripe pear and citrus fruit, and a long finish. Alcohol 13.5% by volume.