2002 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay ($33). Amid the general mediocrity of California chardonnay, there remain a few gems. This classic white wine from one of the Napa Valley's stalwart producers more than justifies the hefty price. The aromas suggest apples and flowers, and the wine is concentrated but also textured. The mix of flavors includes lemon, apples and pears, with hints of honey, minerals and nuts. There is a complex interplay of flavors that makes it more than the sum of its parts, and its finish is long and satisfying. Some worthy pairings include ham, salmon and lobster.
- Michael Dresser