Sommelier: Alexander Valley Vineyards Chardonnay

Thanks to the Millennials’ ABC (Anything but Chardonnay) philosophy, last decade’s NBC (Nothing but Chardonnay) oak-choke style has morphed into a more vibrant, modest-oak kind of Chardonnay. And capturing the essence of this revolution is the Alexander Valley Vineyards 2012 Estate Chardonnay. It delivers this important new kind of taste, blending the best of Burgundy’s unoaked elegance with the super-oaked California style. Winemaker Tim Hardin crafted his 2012 vintage with 70% no oak and 30% French oak, producing a rich, round white wine with the crunch of green apple, softened with Bosc pear and finished with lemon/lime citrus. This limited exposure to oak creates a more food-favorable character and a clean, crisp attitude. Experts say this Chardonnay is a great bargain at $18, but you can get a real steal at Alexander’s Market, where they sell it for $13. Or head down River Road to Roberto’s Restaurant, where they serve Alexander Estate Chardonnay, which pairs perfectly with their Fish en Papillote. Don’t you love it when something familiar gets a new spin?