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santa emaThere may be activities in life more important than play. But when we play we are most fully absorbed in our activity and most fully alive. So anyone who brings out the playful in you is doing you a favor.

This Chilean Chardonnay wants to come out and play. Extroverted and frolicsome, red apple leaps from the glass, supported by a firm bed of papaya. Hints of ginger and vanilla provide interest and buttered toast becomes more prominent with some air.

Hearty with some weight yet smooth on the palate with tropical fruit dominating, the medium length finish turns a bit chalky. This is close to an off-dry style—residual sugar is evident but there is plenty of acid to provide balance.

Opened in February of 2013, this has a little age on it and shows some developing secondary flavors. Yet it is still mouthwatering and fresh. There is just enough oak (7 months, French) to provide depth and complexity but it never becomes too prominent.

This is a good as it gets in this price range. A crowd pleasing style and an excellent value. Alcohol: 14%

Score: 89 Pts.

Price: $11