10 Chardonnays to start 2014

By on January 5, 2014

Duck Pond Cellars 2012 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $12

DPC_Chardonnay_labelThe Fries family recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Oregon wine industry, but this consumer-minded Chardonnay from their Wahluke Slope estate vineyards brings some of the best of both worlds with its use of 29% barrel fermentation and full malolactic fermentation. That creates a complex nose of caramel apple, pineapple preserves on toast and backed by jasmine and fresh-cut celery. Think of apple, pear and butterscotch flavors with clean acidity and a bit of apple-peel bitterness in the finish.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 5,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.1%

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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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