The Smoking Loon Steelbird Unoaked Chardonnay is 85% Chardonnay, 7% Vermentino, 6% Symphony and 3% Verdelho sourced from vineyards located in more than one California grape growing AVA. The blending grapes are a little unusual, Verdelho is a variety normally found in Portugal, Vermentino is a White grape predominately grown Italy and Symphony is a fairly recent (1983) hybrid used to add stone fruit and a little spice to the wine. This is an unoaked Chardonnay, but it is not a young wine, it was aged in stainless steel vats for 8 months before bottling. Smoking Loon is one of Don Sebastiani & Sons line of wines and the Steelbird Chardonnay can usually be found for around $10. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is an extra virgin olive oil yellow. The nose is a combination of a fresh fruit farm stand and a florist shop. This is a Chardonnay with a very pleasing smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It tastes of lemon, pineapple, fresh squeezed lime and apricot. The mid palate adds a light brush of minerality, peach and tart kiwi. The acidity allows the wine to be crisp and refreshing and puts a shine on all the flavors. The finish is full and long.
The 2011 Smoking Loon Steelbird Chardonnay is custom made for warm weather outdoor entertaining. This is a very tasty Chardonnay with some unique flavor characteristics and a creamy texture you normally find in more expensive wines. The Steelbird Chard has a good bit of body to it, so it will stand up to spicy foods and would work with a cheeseburger for when you are in a White wine mood. All in all, the Steelbird is a solid, good tasting, not the same old, same old, inexpensive, satisfying Chardonnay.