Last week I visited Woodside Vineyards for their barrel tasting. If you read my write-up you'll know that this wine was being poured close to a smoky wood fire where chestnuts were being roasted. It seemed unfair to rate it based on a flawed tasting, so I brought one home.
The nose is nice, with lemon, vanilla ice-cream and a minerality, like a fresh mountain stream (that might sound pretentious, but I can't think of a better descriptor). However on the palate it's like chewing oak staves. There's no smoke, but the wood is if anything stronger than it seemed last time, probably because my palate was trying to compensate. The nice lemon and lime component in the background is overpowered by the wood that really bites on the finish. It's not your typical mellow buttery oak that mars so many generic Californian Chardonnays, it's a harsh wood which gives me hope that given time it'll soften and let the fruit show. 82 $25