As I said earlier this week, Roanoke Vineyards is, first and foremost, a red wine winery. Cabernet sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties rule, but this spring, they released their first white wine — a $17 chardonnay — in response to tasting room demand.
60% barrel fermentation brings freshness while 40% fermentation in barrel brings depth and a softness. Refreshing apple and Asian pear aromas lead to a well balance palate that blends apple and melon flavors with richer, more tropical notes. Nice acidity brings balance to this wine and makes it perfect for summer drinking.
This is a style that I prefer to over-manipulated, oaky chardonnay any day. Winemaker Roman Roth (also of Wolffer Estate) always seems to know where that "judicious oak" vs. "too much oak" line is.
I think, for the money, I like this better than any of the Wolffer chards right now actually.