Chardonnays can be very different. These really do depend on the style the winemaker is trying to pursue. Some people will claim California Chardonnays are creamy and buttery. Others might say Chardonnays can be full of oak. The French style can be a little lighter and crisper. Again, like most wines there are many different influences that can shape the finished result. For example, what barrels are used or if any at all are used during the fermentation stages. How often are the leese racked, and so on.
However, I have found a very nice, clean slightly creamy, and hints of spice kind of Chardonnay in California. Ceja Vineyards in Napa California Carneros 2008 Chardonnay. The Ceja winery prefer to inoculate and ferment the wine in oak barrels and do not subject the wine to malolactic fermentation. This allows the wine to truly express the earthy, clean and crisp notes of the grapes and Terrior. They leave the wine in barrels for about a year before bottling.
Clean, daffodil/gold color.
Nose: floral with hints of candied lemon, grapefruit and nutmeg.
Taste: clean, crisp, slightly creamy, pear, nutmeg and hints of mineral.
This is a great in between chardonnay that should be a versatile wine for anyone. I would pair this with scallops in a wine or butter sauce, honey mustard glazed chicken, traditional thanksgiving meal, or after a hot day mowing the lawn. The price is ok but if you really want to try it every year they do put the chardonnay on sale which I think is a better price point.
Check it out! Its a nice wine and you can taste their passion in a bottle.