Wine of the week:A well balanced chardonnay

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Chardonnay is a malleable grape, one that should be free of fingerprints.

That’s according to Bo Felton of Migration Wines.

“I often feel like it’s my job to protect the grapes that show up on the back of the truck,” Felton said.

“You need to trust the quality of the vineyards, the work of the growers and the quality of the fruit,” Felton added.

Felton is the winemaker behind our wine-of-the-week — the Migration, 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay at $32.

It’s a layered chardonnay with aromas and flavors of pear, honeysuckle and crème brulee. Rich and complex, the chardonnay still manages to be vibrant. It has a lush texture and nice length.

The wine is balanced, which is crucial, Felton said.

“The quality of the fruit was so great in 2012 it was almost an embarrassment of riches,” Felton said. “The trick was finding that ideal balance between the elements.”

Chardonnay, Felton said, is a winemaker’s wine.

“It can be gently shaped to accentuate certain characteristics, but this is a delicate balancing act,” he said.

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