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Painted Rock Estate Grown Chardonnay 2011, British Columbia

Rating
94.00
Price
$26.70

Gorgeous chardonnay, better than the vast majority selling for a comparable price. Rich and full, it stays tight and crisp through the long, tension-filled finish, with ripe flavours of pineapple and stone fruit answered by brisk acidity and a smoky-flinty quality thanks, I'm guessing, to five months of contact with spent yeast (a.k.a. lees) in new French oak barrels.

The vineyard team led by Calgary-born Barry Green and Cawston, B.C. native Gabriel Reis conducted three separate "micro" harvests over a two-week period to capture different ripeness levels in the resulting blend. It would excel with rich fish dishes and roast poultry.

Taxes and bottle deposit bring the price to $30, still a bargain for great Burgundy-class chardonnay. Available through www.paintedrock.ca.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More

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