Robin Langton - Bear & Crown Chardonnay 2011 (Russian River Valley, California)
I got to meet Robin Langton whilst in Napa with some of the guys from Naked Wines helping them to decide on the wines they were going to bring into the UK from California. He formerly worked at the esteemed Patz and Hall and he's now heading up the Naked assault on the Californian wine scene as consultant winemaker. Obviously he wants to keep his eye in though so he's produced his own line for Naked under the Bear & Crown label.
I love an oaky Chardonnay and was expecting this to be pretty high on the oaky scale. The oaky notes are however integrated so well that they become a seamless part of the wine. The vanilla scent on the nose is appealing and there's a really fresh quality to the wine. It carefully avoids the dangerous flabby trapdoor that many Chardonnays fall into.
Naked Wines' Angels (i.e. those that pay in a minimum of £20 per month in exchange for preferential prices) can buy this wine for £10.99 which does seem a low price for a very accomplished Californian Chardonnay.
Robin's a lovely guy and I'm glad this is such a brilliant wine. It really does raise the question why I only bought the one. I'm genuinely excited about trying some of the other wines in the Bear & Crown range.
The wine is available from Naked Wines and costs £10.99 if you're one of their "Angel" subscribers.