Raeburn, Russian River Valley (Sonoma County, California) Chardonnay 2015

($20): This is a wine that presents a problem for a wine critic.  I personally do not care for the in-your-face character, which favors power over elegance.  But it is well made and an excellent example of that style of Chardonnay, which I know many people adore.  Raeburn achieves the rich and buttery character by harvesting ripe grapes, which they ferment in oak barrels (half of which are new).  Half the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, which converts the harsher malic acid to a creamier lactic acid.  They achieve additional richness by aging the wine on its lees, the dead yeast, to extract even more flavor. It’s a well-priced example, perfect for those who embrace this style of Chardonnay.
90 Michael Apstein Jun 13, 2017