The A By Acacia Chardonnay 2015 is sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape growing AVA. Acacia Vineyards (founded 1979) is a well-respected vineyard and winery located in the Carneros AVA (Carneros is half in Sonoma and half in Napa). A By Acacia is their value price wine brand and Acacia itself is part of the Treasury Wine Estates large and varied brands of wine. 65% of this Chardonnay is barrel fermented, the other 35% is fermented in stainless steel tanks. It underwent malolactic fermentation, that is a process that is routinely done with Red wine and often with Chardonnay that converts the tart naturally occurring acid in the wine to softer, more rounded tasting acid. The wine was then aged for 6 months “on lees“, that is a French term and it indicates that the dead yeast from fermentation is kept with the wine. That adds flavor and structure to the Chardonnay and when stirred on a regular basis gives the wine a silky, creamy component. The alcohol content is, well I don’t know, it is one of the bits of information that is supposed to be on the label, they sometimes make it hard to find, stick it in small print on the edge of the label, but this is the first wine where I couldn’t find it at all.
The color is butter yellow. The nose is lemon, pear, a little butter, apple, melon, and a light floral edge. This is medium-bodied, dry wine, silky smooth upfront and some nice citrus action on the mid-palate. It starts with a mix of peach, lemon and Golden Delicious apple, followed by melon and lime. The mid-palate shows vanilla cream, followed by tart grapefruit. The acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine and the finish is full and quite long.
The A By Acacia Chardonnay 2015 is a solid, nicely complex wine. Here is a hint about being the value brand from a more upscale winery. Acacia Vineyards specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (mostly from their estate in Carneros), but they have a classy house style. Their value brand, while not sourced from the same grapes or gets the full production treatment, still is made to the house style. So, you are getting all the benefits of the more expensive wines, maybe applied slightly more modestly, but still there in a Chardonnay that I found on sale (Binney’s) for $6.99.