10 Chardonnays to start 2014

By on January 5, 2014

Charles & Charles 2012 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $12

charles-and-charles-chardonnay-2012-bottleBest Buy! New York vintner Charles Bieler and Walla Walla icon Charles Smith began their collaboration in 2008, and this label produces just three wines each vintage — a red blend, a rosé and this Chardonnay. Their vineyard focus here centered on older sites around Snipes Mountain in Washington’s Yakima Valley with a barrel program of 20 percent new French oak. That allows for aromas of sweet pear, kiwi fruit, apple and grass, followed by elegant flavors of Asian pear, Granny Smith apple, mint and minerality. The acid profile is radiant and reminiscent of some Sauvignon Blancs, which may explain the suggested pairings with Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cream or Chicken Dijon.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 14,000 cases

Alcohol: 13.3%

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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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