Reininger Winery 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley, $48
Birch Creek Vineyard, a site in the southern Walla Walla Valley, gives Chuck Reininger the opportunity to work with nearly 20-year-old Chardonnay vines. He pays tribute to them with this project that begins with stainless steel fermentation before transitioning to 10 months of aging and lees stirring inside a pair of 500-liter French puncheons. That allows him to still present this as a fruit-forward Chardonnay with pleasing midpalate creaminess, and the experience opens with aromas of cotton candy, Bartlett pear, Pink Lady apple and a late hit of vanilla. Asian pear, lemon and pineapple lead the flavors that bring crisp acidity and a food-friendly finish of lemon pith and apple peel.
Production: 47 cases