I think that those of us who take wine seriously (but never too seriously, right?) sometimes get caught up in wines needing to be "complex." I know that I find myself saying "It's delicious, but it's simple" and meaning it in a bad way.
Why is that bad? The important thing is that it's delicious, not that it might only have two or three flavor components instead of a half dozen or more.
This wine, Channing Daughters Winery's 2006 Brick Kiln Chardonnay ($20), is a reminder that a wine can be tasty and straightforward ...and that is okay.
The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested — the norm rather than the exception at Channing Daughters — from their Brick Kiln Vineyard in the Hamptons. Barrel fermented and aged in French, Slovenian and Hungarian oak, this is a well balanced wine that will appeal to both lovers of barrel-fermented chardonnay and those who find many versions flabby and sweet tasting.
Nicely aromatic, it offers clean scents of ripe, juicy apples and pears, almonds, vanilla and subtle baking spice. Luscious and tongue-coating on the palate, ripe tree fruit stands out here with hints of juicy peach and spice. Gentle, but persistent acidity provides structure and brings balance.
Like I said, it's somewhat simple, but not in a boring or bad way.
Grape(s): 100% chardonnay
Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: The Hamptons, Long Island
Rating: (2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good).