Having opened two of the recent Stefania releases you knew it was only a matter of time before I got to the last one, the Chaine d'Or vineyard Chardonnay.
Chaine d'Or vineyard, pictured above, is located off Highway 84 in Woodside, to the east of Skyline Drive. It's a little over an acre on a cool southerly slope. The vines were planted a little over 20 years ago by Jerry and Anne Anderson in the grounds of their home. The Andersons made wine under the Chaine d'Or label for many years, but have now retired and the vineyard and winery is now managed by Paul and Stef Romero. The old Chaine d'Or label has largely been discontinued in favour of the Stefania label, though a few cases are still marked the old way for some older restaurant clients.
I don't normally decant white wines, but I did with this as it's so young and I wanted to see what the air did to it. Initially the nose was quite floral; with time it showed more of a lime character. On the palate it had lots of chalky minerality, flavours of green apple, hints of butterscotch and a creamy mouthfeel. I'm assured that it sees 75% new oak, but you wouldn't think so from the way it tastes. It continues to remind me of Cooper Garrod's Gravel Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, and to a degree of Clos LaChance's Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. While it's probably my least favourite of the Stefania range, it's a nice example of a Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay, and a pleasant change from the butterball style. 89