Constant readers will not be surprised to find another unoaked chardonnay recommended here, given our growing preference for cleaner and brighter chards. In the case of the 2011 Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay, fermentation in steel and no secondary malolactic fermentation yield a light and lively white heavy on the fruit and so easy on the vanilla that it is all but undetectable. We picked up this wine on an introductory special at a local wine-savvy market at the bargain price of two for $10; a few days later, it was still well-priced at $10.
This chard kicks off with a nose of light zesty lemon and a hint of pineapple. Green apple leaps to the fore on the tongue and is joined by lemon and tropical fruits in a bright and refreshing combo. Amazingly in such a light wine, a decidedly creamy mouthfeel is evident from mid palate through a long soft finish. All in all, another perfect summer wine.
Unchained would be great with Baja-style fish tacos or Southern fried chicken.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.