2003 Hahn Estates Monterey Chardonnay ($12). Every once in a long while, a value comes along that is so extraordinary that it deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. This California chardonnay is one of them. It's rich, buttery, deep, structured, complex and elegant - everything one would expect from a $50 chardonnay from some chic Napa Valley producer. The key, judging by the concentration of flavor, seems to have been the low vineyard yields forced on the producer by Mother Nature. The honey, vanilla, butterscotch and apple flavors are vibrant, and the lively acidity gives it a Burgundy-like finish. Buy this wine by the case and serve with spicy food such as Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
- Michael Dresser