2016 Black Kite Chardonnay, Sierra Mar Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, Californa (750ml)
Black Kite is a small family owned producer based in Anderson Valley, Mendocino. They only made 212 cases of this wine so get your hands on it now before it disappears.
We've come to realize that wines from the Sierra Mar vineyard tend to show higher and brighter acidity than from other parts of Santa Lucia Highlands. That is mostly due to the higher elevation and thus cooler climate at 1,000 feet above sea level. And even though this lovely Chardonnay was aged in 40% new French oak barrels, the zesty freshness and acidity is what lingers on the finish, not the oak. While the oak aromas are fairly apparent on the nose they don't translate to oaky flavors on the palate, only the fresh citrus and crunchy apple flavors come through. It's just the weight and texture that benefit from the oak which underscores its medium-to-full body.