Barnard Griffin 2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $14
Best Buy! The hottest vintage in Rob Griffin’s 39th year of winemaking in Washington state meant he and winemaking daughter, Megan Hughes, brought in their Chardonnay from their estate Caroway Vineyard and longtime farming families at Arete, Lonesome Spring Ranch, Crawford vineyards earlier than ever. About a third of this was fermented in French oak and a third went through malolactic fermentation, which makes complexity while preserving bright acidity. Toasted almond, butter and zesty citrus fruit aromas come through to the creamy palate that’s capped by lemony notes with Golden Delicious apple peel bite. For the second straight year, Barnard Griffin earned a gold medal for its bargain Chardonnay at the Cascadia International Wine Competition. Enjoy it with shrimp or fried chicken with mashed potatoes.
Production: 8,700 cases