Cinder Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $18

cinder-wines-chardonnay-2015-bottleThis vintage marked the 10th harvest in Idaho for proud Washington State University grads Melanie Krause and Joe Schnerr, and they’ve kept the focus on the fruit they pulled in from sweeping Sawtooth Vineyard. Only 10% of their barrel program was new, and they aged the juice on the lees for eight months. As a result, it’s showy yet smooth in the nose with gooseberry, Key lime juice, lemon pepper and a brush of butter. Inside, the winemaking makes for a great mouth feel of lemon curd and white pepper on the entry, followed by crushed green banana, zingy acidity and a lick of extra-virgin olive oil and vanilla. In their Garden City tasting room, they suggest serving this with quiche, Serrano ham with cantaloupe and melon or that holiday bird.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 380 cases

Alcohol: 13.8%

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