If you're in the market for a great value in a California Chardonnay, Travis Chardonnay 2012 would be awfully hard to beat. For a mere $11.99, you'll be treated to an excellent Chard - one that wine expert Robert Parker awarded a score of 90 points in his Wine Advocate
for the 2009 vintage, calling it a "terrific bargain."
The 2012 vintage, produced from two vineyards in the Monterey foothills (Riverview and Elm vineyards), is unfiltered and unoaked. Aging the wine in stainless steel helps to assure its bright fruit flavors and aromas. And, since it's not inoculated for malolactic fermentation, the wine's food-friendly acidity is preserved.
Travis Chardonnay is sustainably farmed, and the lack of filtration means it will appear a smidgen cloudy in the glass. On the palate, I'm reminded not of a big, oaky, California Chardonnay, but rather of French Chablis, with flavors of Asian pear and white peach, honeysuckle and tangerine.
The 2012 Travis Chardonnay was spectacular paired with a dish of crab-stuffed ravioli in a buttery cream sauce.