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Sierra Madre 2007 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley 

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Sierra Madre, a historic Santa Maria Valley vineyard, was sold several times since it was first planted in 1971, and is now owned by Doug and Jan Circle. Previously, it was strictly the name of the vineyard, not a brand. But that name is so highly regarded by wine aficionados, creating a label with that name was brilliant. Their wines are made by veteran winemaker Steve Rasmussen, well known from his many years at Talley Vineyards. I was impressed with this delicious Chardonnay, winner of medals in competitions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Rich and creamy, its tropical notes are in harmony with the classic apple and pear aromas and flavors of this white, ending on a pleasant vanilla note from barrel fermentation. A great choice for dinner, try it with herb-roasted chicken, seared scallops with risotto, or fresh crab with drawn butter. Available in local restaurants or online at It’s on sale through the month of May for $24 retail (normally $30); that’s because the 2008 will be released this summer.



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