67. Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay, Washington, $12
Best Buy! The backlash against big, buttery, oaky, California-style Chardonnay continues, and Washington’s second-largest winery gets into the game in a big way. This new release from Columbia Crest is unusual in a few ways, not the least of which is a screwcap — atypical for Ste. Michelle Wine Estate bottlings. The wine also carries the “Washington” appellation instead of “Columbia Valley.” And the wine did not go through secondary malolactic fermentation, which keeps it clean and bright. This stunning Chardonnay opens with aromas of fresh pear, apple, apricot and melon, followed by flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, a hint of lemon and even a whisper of rosewater. Bright acidity throughout is like biting into a crisp apple, and the finish goes on forever.
Production: 25,000 cases