For me this is Derek Barnett back to his “special chardonnay” making ways. Last’s year’s version of Barrel Select was a slutty, California, drink now style of wine that lured people in and kept them coming back for more – in the short term … the ’16 is better, more ageable and yet still shows great weight and even better finesse and elegance. 18 months in French oak (none new) – but there is no malolactic fermentation (so less creaminess) and full lees contact (this is where that buttery note comes in). Good spice and acidity show themselves first and foremost, but so does that butteriness, butterscotch, sweet peach and great spice on the finish ... this is heads and tails above the 2015 especially for those who want to lie a Chardonnay down for the next 5-6 years.
Price: $27.00 – Rating: ****+