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A top-flight Californian chardonnay

2018 De Loach, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California

£25.49, reduced to £22.49 each by the case of six bottles, thewinereserve.co.uk; £23.99, nywines.co.uk; £23.49, haywines.co.uk

The problem with tastings on Zoom and YouTube interviews is that there is nowhere to hide when you are asked to tell the audience your thoughts about a wine, particularly if you haven’t tasted it before. I always “say what I see” and this doesn’t always go down well! On a recent JCB LIVE interview with flamboyant wine magnate Jean-Charles Boisset I was put on the spot with one of his wines. Thank goodness it was stunning! In fact, it was so good that it leapt straight onto this page today.

Of course one has to be prepared for a full-framed style when dealing with Californian chardonnay, so I was impressed to see that under the expressive, cool-climate, Russian River-influenced fruit there is a beating heart of refreshing acidity, which electrifies this dynamic wine. Made from a blend of fruit from three vineyards, each with their specific microclimates, this is a seriously fascinating new release and I was fully prepared for a £50 price tag.

So, if you are searching for a top-flight Californian chardonnay that doesn’t cost the earth then here it is, and if anyone puts you on the spot, I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about!

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

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