1998 Franciscan Oakville Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley...


February 02, 2000|By Michael Dresser

1998 Franciscan Oakville Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($15).

It's fairly unusual to find any kind of Napa Valley chardonnay in this price class these days. To find one for $15 that's as outstanding as this Franciscan is truly amazing. It offers brilliant fruit with just the right touch of oak. The flavors of apple, lemon, nuts, natural yeast and vanilla combine in a way reminiscent of a fine Meursault from Burgundy. It's not a blockbuster chardonnay, but it displays an elegance, character and length on the palate that put most of its peers to shame. It won't improve with age but should hold up well for two years in case you want to stock up. An ideal match would be salmon in a creamy sauce.

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