The '09 Leese-Fitch California Chardonnay has great balance, Wine Wisdom columnist Roger Gentile says.
The name Leese-Fitch is a building in Sonoma where the Sebastiani family's newest wine group is housed. Since selling their eponymous winery, Don, Aug and Mia Sebastiani now make a bevy of curiously labeled wines (MooBuzz, Hey Mambo, Plungerhead and White Knight) so I guess the building's moniker was as good a candidate as anything else.
Name aside, the 2009 Leese-Fitch California Chardonnay is most appealing dry white as it bursts with aromas of ripe lychee fruit, tropical melon and crisp Anjou pear.
After the initial blast of fruit aromas, roasted chestnut, vanilla, caramel, apple and an ample dose of rich French oak come to the front. The palate is full-bodied with a fresh entry, medium weight mid-palate, with a creamy, lingering finish that is pretty long on pleasure. This wine has great balance and sells for $13 a bottle. Still, it is able to stand on its own with other, more expensive wines.
By the way, another aspect I like about the Leese-Fitch is it has a Zork Cork, so all one does is twist the thing off, pour a glass and recap it. It is a good choice with salmon, fettuccini with a clam sauce and grilled chicken breast. The wine is distributed by Vanguard Wines if your favorite place can't find it.
Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile's, the Wine Sellers – www.gentiles.com – and the author of two books on wine.