The Vintners Blend series from Ravenswood started with Zinfandel; not surprising for a Winery that is best known for that grape. They've since expanded and now make a number of Vintners Blend Wines. The intent is to provide everyday affordability, while maintaining varietal character and providing a well crafted wine. Today I'll look at the current release Chardonnay. The 2007 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Chardonnay is made from fruit sourced throughout California. 5% Muscat Canelli is blended in. This wine was aged in French oak; 25% of the barrels were new. The suggested retail price for this offering is $10.
Mango, apple and nutmeg characteristics are what jumped out at me in the nose of this Chardonnay, along with a hint of toasty oak. The palate features a solid and balanced core of orchard fruit notes. Apple pie spice and buttery crust notes underscore the fruit and provide a nice counter balance. Mineral notes emerge in the finish, joined by continued spice elements. Everything is kept in check by sufficient acidity. This wine drinks nicely on its own and will pair well with lighter foods.
This Chardonnay leans towards the oaky side but it never goes all the way there maintaining that all important balance that makes it enjoyable to drink. In its price point it offers good value. The 2007 Vintners Blend should please people on both sides of the Chardonnay/oak debate as it threads the needle well. Another solid entry in the Vintners Blend series that fulfills its intent.