Soter North Valley Chardonnay 2012
While 100% of the wine is barrel fermented, most of the barrels are in fact stainless steel and not oak. Only selective malolactic fermentation is used: 10% new French oak, 30% used French oak (2-3 yr barrels), 60% stainless steel barrels, 25% malolactic fermentation. Alcohol is only 12.8% and for once, to compare the style of this new world Chardonnay to that of Chablis does not seem ridiculous.
Tasting note: Green-gold in colour, lime-zest, some tropical fruit and honey on the nose with a hint of vanilla and toast, a bright palate with citrus and fresh apple overlaid with a touch of honey and toast again with a pure finish. This as lean a style of Chardonnay as you will find in the USA, or indeed anywhere in the New World. For once, comparison stylistically with Chablis does not seem ridiculous.