Wines of the week

Chardonnay, Kunde Estate, Sonoma Valley, 2006

Cheap producers bear much of the blame for chardonnay's bad name. Put the grape in the hands of good growers, and it can be a fine wine and, at its height, superb.

For honest farming and enjoyable winemaking, you can trust the Kunde family. They have picked a century of harvests from vines in the center of the Sonoma Valley. Their focus on sustainable practices means they'll keep at it.

Their chardonnay is just as balanced, a friendly fruit basket with more pears and peaches than green apples, and oak, plus enough vanilla and spice for a pie. Almost creamy, but still crisp. (For a change, Kunde also makes a chard without barrel aging called Nu for its nakedness.)

A great everyday chardonnay? We should be so lucky. A treat worth a weekend dinner around fish or chicken on the grill.

Availability: Approximately $15, wine shops and better liquor stores.

Chris Sherman, Times staff writer

Chardonnay, Kunde Estate, Sonoma Valley, 2006 07/08/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 9:39am]

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