The 2011 La Merika makes for a good warm-weather choice, Wine Wisdom columnist Roger Gentile says.

I know it is going to get warm, and with that in mind, I have spent two weeks looking for a sensational chardonnay value.

I think I found it.

My litmus test occurred when I opened this with four wine friends, and had them guess the price. The averge was $15 per, and it is much lower than that.

The 2011 La Merika Chardonnay hails from California's Central Coast, and there is obviously some wood present as it has a nice fatness without being cloying.

From the glass the aromas are melon, pears and vanilla, with some tropical fruits underlying. The mouth is medium-full bodied, and the flavors spend a long time on the palate, with no burn or manipulated flavors showing up.

It won a "Double Gold" at the California State Fair last year and "Best of Class of Region" as well. If you like your chardonnay with food, this pairs well with certain preparations of salmon, chicken and lobster.

Wine prices continue to befuddle me as the winery says this is a $20 wine, but you can get it for less than $10 here. It also can be sourced from Glazer's Distributing in Columbus.

Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile's, the Wine Sellers – – and the author of two books on wine.