Mercer Estates 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $29

Previous vintages saw Jessica Munnell dedicate her reserve Chardonnay to Zephyr Ridge Vineyard, but the maturation of young Eagle & Plow Vineyard – now the Mercer family’s largest planting – deems it worthy of playing a role in this program. Half of the lots involved new French oak barrels for 10 months, and half of the casks went through malolactic fermentation. That captures gorgeous tropical fruit aromas with apple pie filling and cherry blossom. It’s creamy and delicious on the front half as Bosc pear and butterscotch flavors lead to a sandy texture across the palate. Toward the tail, there’s charming lemony acidity to make for a bright finish.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 362 cases

Alcohol: 13.9%

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