2008 Sebastaniani Chardonnay Sonoma County


2008 Sebastiani Chardonnay

This is a fairly inexpensive Sonoma County Chardonnay at $13. The wine has the classic broad buttery feel and taste of a Chardonnay with some acid, no tannins that I could find, and no detectable oak. There was a small amount of minerality that I detected about 3/4ths of the way back during a swallow but which was absent as far as my spouse was concerned. I did not taste any berries. The aromas are very citrously. I checked the winemaker’s website description for this wine and was surprised to see that they noted a pH of 3.45. I was skeptical and ran my own test with a pH Hach test strip and got about 3.5. That is amazing pH for a California wine. The winemaker’s notes on this wine describe a lot of stirring in neutral barrels (meaning old barrels) and that might have done the trick. As usual, the winemaker’s notes on taste and aroma mention a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables and various other things that I could not find. I have to trust him that they are there. The last few sips delivered a slightly off-putting bite that I usually associate with colder climate grapes.

I’d describe this as a very nice Chardonnay lacking (intentionally) the oak that is recently becoming passé anyway. The website for Sebastiani takes some diligence to navigate as it lacks any tab for its wines (get the wine descriptions by going to the wine shop). This particular vintage was apparently something of a disaster due to a late April frost. But they did the best that they could with whatever did grow. I don’t know if the sale had anything to do with the recent sale of the winery to entrepreneur Bill Foley later that same year in December, but I bet it did. It is interesting to note that Bill Foley is the target of some consumer-driven boycotts. I’m not about to wade into that. But, Bill Foley’s history is worth a read. I don’t know what that all has to do with a $13 bottle of Chardonnay, but it is interesting how wine stirs the souls of men and women.


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