Meridian Santa Barbara County Chardonnay Reserve 2002

Price: $15
Maker: Meridian Vineyards, Paso Robles, California
Varietal: Chardonnay
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 14.1%
Our Rating: 9.0 out of 10

I’ve had a bottle of Meridian Santa Barbara County Chardonnay Reserve 2002 stored for a few years, and finally popped its cork. Now, I wish I had found this nice white wine earlier. As the label promises, it does offer a powerful tropical fruit and floral aromas. On the palate, this Chardonnay is smoother and richer than most. It’s fruity and has a slightly syrupy feel, with a finish that it is spicy and not particurlarly acidic.

Meridian Santa Barbara County Reserve isn’t one of those light, refreshing Chardonnays – with its honey-like texture and 14.1% alcohol content, it leans toward the dessert wine end of the spectrum. This is definitely a wine that can hold its own with food, even spicy fare.

Meridian’s website extols its vineyard:

Spanning over 500 luscious acres in San Luis Obispo county, Meridian’s vineyards are located in California’s coastal mountain range. This ideal wine-growing region is distinguished by unique mountain ranges that run east to west, opening right onto the Pacific Ocean.

As a result, cooling fog and maritime breezes help offset hot temperatures for an unusually long growing season. These favorable climatic conditions result in extra time on the vine for the grapes, allowing them to ripen slowly and develop concentrated flavors. Bright, bold fruit flavors and lively crispness are the unique hallmarks of Meridian wines.

I don’t know if the climate is the secret the success of Meridian Santa Barbara County Chardonnay Reserve 2002, but that wine definitely worked for me.

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