Dusted Valley Vintners 2013 French Creek Vineyard Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, $29
Locally grown viticulturalist Damon LaLonde’s work with this older vineyard east of Prosser has turned French Creek into one of the top Chardonnay sites in Washington, and Walla Walla winemakers Chad Johnson and Corey Braunel have used it to produce a noteworthy and skillful example of a reserve style. Aromas of fresh coconut, cotton candy, pineapple and toasted pine nuts transition to a luscious drink. The program of 16% new French oak, combined with barrel fermentation, creates round flavors of pineapple, fresh caramel and buttered bread with a rich butterscotch midpalate. And yet, there’s a cleansing burst of lemon custard in the finish to create balance and good length. The Wisconsin boys suggest serving this with Thai-Inspired Black Cod in Parchment, a recipe offered by Janis Frey.
Production: 325 cases