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Rodney Strong Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay Chalk Hill 

I receive so much feedback from the oak-aged chardonnay aficionados asking for recommendations, it amazes me. While I honestly don’t love this style for sipping like I do stainless steel versions, I can appreciate a creamy-textured, well-balanced chardonnay. This Rod Strong version has lovely aromas and flavors of ripe apples, pears, and citrus notes that meld with sweet nuances of melon, honey, and vanilla. Collectors would age it, but it’s quite drinkable at this youthful age. It’s enjoyable as an aperitif and an excellent complement to richer foods like white fish, crab, or lobster dressed in buttery sauces. Available at BevMo! or RodneyStrong.com for only $22, this oak-driven white will reward those who love chardonnay with bold fruit and spicy, vanilla flavors.

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