Chardonnay, Domaine Bernier
This Chardonnay is produced by the three brothers Couillaud at the Château de la Ragotière, a few minutes from the Atlantic near the mouth of the Loire River, where the maritime climate is ideal for producing whites that are refreshing and bright. The Couillauds age most of this wine on its lees until bottling to add weight and texture with around 10% being barrel-fermented in French oak for the faintest touch of toastiness.
Crisp and bright, this chardonnay comes from the western Loire Valley, an unexpected place for this Burgundy grape variety, and is made in a fresh, unoaked style, nothing like the famed [and costly] Burgundy crus. Though unconventional, it's delicious, with fruit flavors that echo pears and apples, and an enticing hint of minerality beneath the surface.