Wine of the Week: 2011 Liquid Farm Chardonnay

2011 Liquid Farm Chardonnay "White Hill"; region: California Central Coast; price: about $36; style: intense, yet subtle; what it goes with: savory tarts, chilled shellfish, spiny lobster, Dungeness crab

For anyone who loves a leaner, more elegant style of Chardonnay, this is the one.

Liquid Farm proprietors Nikki and Jeff Nelson are going for Chardonnay with less oak influence and lower alcohol. Bingo. That's a recipe for a food-friendly wine, and with the help of winemakers Brandon Sparks-Gillis and John Dragonette of Dragonette Cellars, they're making this terrific Chardonnay from Santa Rita Hills grapes.

I love its minerality, the sharp, fresh scent of citrus and, well, grape.

It's a beautiful wine with chicken pot pie, mushroom galettes, chilled shellfish and crustaceans. Just right for summer drinking.


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