Cline Family Cellars, Carneros (Sonoma County, California) Chardonnay “Hat Strap” 2021

($30):  The Carneros region of Sonoma, and Napa for that matter, is cooler because it abuts San Pablo Bay, which funnels cool Pacific Ocean air into the vineyards.  Despite the cooling maritime influences, Cline has managed to create a Chardonnay with substance, reflected by its 14.5 percent stated alcohol, but without going overboard.  Good acidity balances the nuances of peach and pineapple that peek out.  Not heavy or overdone, this classy Chardonnay works both as a stand-alone aperitive or a match for a hearty roast chicken.
90 Michael Apstein May 9, 2023