These days I'm finding that I enjoy Chardonnay more the less that it's manipulated, or at least that it appears to be manipulated. When I complimented Paul Romero on his nicely balanced 2008 Chardonnay he commented that he's reluctant to disclose the details because it sees more new oak than you might think.
Having said that, I appreciate that many people still want a Chardonnay that shows the typical hallmarks of California winemaking; ripe fruit, lots of new French oak and malolactic fermentation, giving a wine that shows butter, vanilla and toast rather than fruit. Those people would probably enjoy the 2007 Ahlgren Chardonnay. The first sniff reminded me of sherbet - creamy, effervescent vanilla and it's got bags of buttered toast and creamy mouthfeel. But despite all that there are still some nice white peach, lime and wet stone flavours discernible - particularly on the finish - which hint at the potential of the vineyard. 87 $27 168 cases