Youngberg Hill Vineyards, McMinnville (Willamette Valley, Oregon) Chardonnay “Bailey Family” 2018

($85):  The first sip of this tightly-wound Chardonnay is unimpressive.  But don’t be put off by that, because it blossoms to reveal its grandeur.  Despite techniques that should result in fatness, such as barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation, and barrel aging, this Chardonnay is sleek and racy.  Its splendor is not so much richness, but elegance and captivating complexity.  There is some fruitiness, of course, but that’s not the focus here.  Citrus notes, a touch of stoniness, and a marvelous hint of bitterness in the finish complete the picture.  Not a boisterous wine, its brilliance lies in its refinement and subtlety.  This is not a wine to sip as an aperitif.  This is one to savor and watch it enthrall you over a long meal.  Mind you, it is not a powerhouse, but it makes a powerful impression.
96 Michael Apstein Aug 23, 2022