Steele Wines, Sonoma Valley (Sonoma County, California) Chardonnay Parmelee Hill Vineyard 2018

($38):  Though the oak in this large-framed Chardonnay is immediately noticeable — a hint of bacon fat — it is not intrusive or overwhelming.  Indeed, it’s a balanced wine redolent with melon-like fruitiness and bright acidity that keeps it fresh and you coming back for more.  A hefty Chardonnay weighing in at a stated 14.5 percent alcohol, paradoxically, it actually seems restrained.  There’s none of the overdone buttery notes so often seen in California Chardonnays of the past.
91 Michael Apstein May 4, 2021