Petaluma Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2005

Q: What do you do in the event of an earthquake?A: Well, if you’re me, you quickly check to make sure none of the wine fell over and broke (it didn’t) and then grab the first bottle you can find to calm your nerves.Thanks to the vagaries of the international wine trade, the local bottle shop had a dozen of these for a meager $14 a couple of months back. Sadly, the first two bottles were corked and nonrefundable, but this one appears intact.Not visibly old at all – it still looks bright and clean – the nose tells quite another story, with hazelnuts, burnt matchsticks, and pineapple clotted cream cake coming together to suggest a wine that’s been around for a few years. Rich, unctuous, and ever so slightly overwhelming (think California style) in the mouth, there’s a thick seam of rich, buttery pear and roasted nuts to be found here. The finish is plenty long, with just enough acidity to make it easy-going enough to please most anyone, I reckon. In short, this would be the ideal wine to serve in Qantas business class: rich, stuffed with enough flavor to register at even thirty thousand feet, and fat enough to please folks who don’t enjoy their wine unless it’s got a certain sense of luxurious, hedonistic plushness to it.The only thing I am is surprised: I love Petaluma’s riesling and viognier, both of which are wonderfully expressive and full of character – and yet this wine seems a bit vague (in the international style, at least). It doesn’t compare well, I think. to the Grosset chardonnay (which is presumably made from fruit from the same general area)… but it is at least a surefire crowd pleaser. Shame about the dead tree stopper, though. Petaluma
Price: $14
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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