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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bargain Wine of the Week: JT Cellars 2009 Chardonnay

The label pictured above is slightly incorrect. The wine we're discussing today is the JT Cellars Chardonnay from the Central Coast, not Santa Barbara County. The Central Coast bottling uses grapes from Monterey rather than the now more famous wine region to its south, Santa Barbara.

This is actually a wine from Starry Night Winery, which uses grapes from good vineyards that it doesn't own in order to keep its underutilized facilities humming with fruit from other vineyards. In this case, a small vineyard near the town of Monterey. Starry Night can buy grapes a little cheaper and produce a serviceable wine at a lower price under a different label. 

This wine actually started out as an $18 bottle of wine that we bought for $9, so keep an eye on the price. At $9 it's a great bargain.

This is not a big oaky, California Chardonnay, but a crisp yet round (a good shot of butterscotch defines it) and refreshing wine for fish, poultry, white pasta sauces and salads. Twenty percent of the wine is fermented in oak barrels to give it a hint of vanilla, but the apple and melon flavors keep it summer smart. 

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