Wine of the Week: 2008 Matchbook "Old Head" Chardonnay

Before your mind wanders into the gutter (like mine often does), the term "old head" in winespeak means that the wine was fermented in already-used barrels. This gives just a hint of oak to the Chardonnay without overpowering the fruit flavors. It's a wily little trick that infuses lots of soul into this wine. I've always been a fan of oaked Chardonnay and was skeptical when I read about the technique, but was pleasantly surprised by this wine on many levels.

Matchbook "Old Head" Chardonnay is wise beyond its years when it comes to flavors. Complex yet subtle, it's a slow mix of soulful vanilla, apricot and crisp acidity, finishing with the faint whisper of oak and lingering minerals. With these elegant, refined flavors of tropical fruit and unexpected blooms of acidity amongst a field of vanilla and lavender, it's a simple surprise lurking in an unsuspecting Chardonnay.

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