Light gold color; light apple, citrus nose; yellow and green apples, some lemon-lime, some citrus and vanilla and toast on the palate.
Medium weight in the mouth, spent some time sur lie in French and American oak and underwent 100% malolactic fermentation, but there is no oak monster (or butter bomb) lurking in this bottle. Winemaker Aaron Piotter achieved good balance and integration; drinks like a more expensive chard with nice mouthfeel and developing nuances with exposure to air. The wine is clean, fresh, in a breezy, fruit-forward California style with a satisfying, long finish.
Called “Winemaker’s Blend”, the grapes come from Monterey (47%), Napa (34%), and Sonoma (19%) counties. The winery gets its name from indigenous grey pines that loom along the hillsides in Napa County. Native to California, ghost pines adapt to a variety of climates and soils, much like grapevines. Some of the fruit for Ghost Pines comes from the Ghost Pines Vineyard started by Louis P. Martini (son of Louis M. Martini) in 1964, but the Louis M. Martini company does not own Ghost Pines Winery, E.&J. Gallo Winery does. Don’t you love the intermingling of grand families of California wine in California wines. Ghost Pines Chardonnay may include fruit from the Ghost Pines Vineyard, however the maker buys grapes from throughout the area, hoping to achieve quality through diversity. Piotter succeeds with this bottle. $17-20