Steven Kent Winery 2012 Merrillie Chardonnay (SRP $34): “Merrillie” is named for proprietor and vintner Steven Kent’s paternal grandmother, and until recently was one of the only white wines the winery produced. This delicious Chardonnay combines richness and spicy, sweet oak tones with freshness and brightness. It is long and harmonious in the mouth, with flavors of spiced pear, apple, and citrus blossom. The wine’s slightly creamy texture is balanced with lifting [citrusy] acids that lead into a full, lengthy finish. I enjoyed it with smoked salmon and on its own. Approximately 504 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Livermore Valley, California. (Other info: ABV 14.7%, eight months American / French oak barrels – 60% new 40% second use, sur lie eight months, natural cork enclosure.) –

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