The 2010 Maryhill Winery Chardonnay is sourced from 5 contracted vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Washington State. The bulk of the grapes come from Milbrandt Vineyards, it seems like every time you find a wine from Columbia Valley that isn’t produced by Chateau Ste Michelle or Columbia Crest, at least a portion of the grapes are from Milbrandt. The Maryhill Chardonnay is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, but during the aging they add the staves from French oak barrels to the tanks to add a little bit if oak flavor and structure, but not too much. This is a relatively small production wine with only 4,308 cased produced and while the wine sells for $14 at the winery, it is often on sale for under $10 and I found it on sale for $7.99. The alcohol content is 14.1%.
The color is a clear, shiny, lemon yellow. The nose is apples and limes, with a floral edge, it is subtle, but pretty and delicate. This is a Chardonnay with a little bit of weight on the palate and a creamy/acidic balance. It tastes of muted apples and pears, a nutty, almost almond flavor, lemon chiffon and lime. The mid palate adds a nice dash of vanilla cream and a final hit of peach. This isn’t a Chardonnay that tries to mute the acidity, there is a good amount on hand, but there is more than enough fruit to balance the acidity. The finish is creamy with a tart edge and lingers on and on.
I like value priced wines from the Columbia Valley, they usually have more than their share of flavor, but they also have some decent structure, no fruit bombs here. The Maryhill Winery Chardonnay is a perfect example of a quality Columbia Valley value wine, it is not fancy, it is just good. If you are one of those, “I don’t like oak in my Chardonnay” people, relax, the oak barrel staves just add a creamy texture and flavor and does not change the essence of the Maryhill Chard. Pair this with anything from Sunday brunch to spicy Thai and it has enough structure for a White wine drinker to pair with a blue cheese burger. Or better yet, just drink it, it is well made, has a mix of interesting flavors and the price is right, especially if you find it on sale.