Kim Crawford 2003 Marlborough Unoaked Chardonnay ($12.99)
Glints of light brassy-green add a touch of color to this very pale, straw-color wine. It's pleasant and appealing but not at all what I expect in a Chardonnay: Citric lemons and limes and a back note of pears on the nose; crisp citric white fruit on the palate with a lean, rather tart structure. If I had confronted it without knowing the variety, I don't think I would have ever guessed Chardonnay, suggesting that the character most of us routinely associate with the grape variety may speak more than we realize of oak. US Importer: R. H. Phillips Inc., Esparto, Calif. (Sep 7, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Not bad with the butter-and-sage pasta and sauteed shrimps mentioned in the Del├ęger note, but its lean fruit-and-acid profile might have been better still with white, firm-fleshed fish.



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