Friends and long time followers of WineScene, dating back to the WinePals era of the late 80s and early 90s, including any surviving members of the Compuserve Wine Forum will know I used to be a huge California Chardonnay fan, but somewhere along the way if it was Au Bon Climat, Dehlinger, Matanzas Creek, Qupe, or Kalin, I tended to look elsewhere for the classic white Burgundian grape so when the opportunity came along to open up a bottle of a current release Chardonnay I decided to try a recent arrival, that being the 2008 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to see if someone else was going to break my aversion to any but Chardonnay.
The Patz & Hall is a lovely white, though I wouldn't store it more than 3-5 years, as I suspect its charm is in its youthful vigor. Almonds, hazelnut, granny apples, fresh first pick peaches, a hint of vanilla (likely from the oak barrels) and more importantly, what's not there. I'm referring to the overblown, butter and butterscotch taste that has for years dominated so many of the California Chards, that I just gave up. Even Aussie Chards, go in a different direction, including one of my favorites, the Trevor Jones Virgin Chardonnay or another delightful Chardonnay from South Africa, the Glen Carlou.
The Patz and Hall though not a virgin Chardonnay (meaning it never sees oak) is one of those that will have the Chardonnay crowd enjoying this wine as a sipper all by itself or as a perfect accompaniment to butterfish, trout or salmon.
Suggested price: $35.00