Reserve-style Chardonnay with a prominent profile of oak doesn’t seem to emerge as often in the Pacific Northwest, but Yakima Valley winemaker Marcus Miller appeals to segments of that California Chardonnay culture with this bottling. He sent three of the eight barrels from his family’s County Line Vineyard — their highest-elevation site at 1,100 feet — through full malolactic fermentation, then they all were aged in barrel, half in new oak. They impart aromas of buttered popcorn, hazelnut, butterscotch and facial powder, joined by fruity notes of ripe pear, honeydew melon and grapefruit. The drink offers more nutty and pear flavors, but there’s plenty of bright acidity and lime zest that lead to a finish of caramel and toast. Miller suggests pairing it with chicken, salmon and dishes featuring a butter sauce.
Production: 335 cases