Billsboro Chardonnay 2015: $18 Good+

Is Vinny Aliperti trying to build a better Chardonnay?  The Billsboro Winery “Atwater Vineyards” Chardonnay (Finger Lakes, NY) 2015 $18 [Good+] is a blend of skin-fermented grapes (30%) and tank fermented grapes (56%), with a small portion (14%) fermented and aged in oak.  As a Chardonnay skeptic I applaud Aliperti’s efforts to improve Chardonnay, a perennial Finger Lakes underperformer.  He isn’t quite there with this wine, but this is certainly an interesting bottle, with noticeable tannin, good fruit, and balance that seems awkward at times.  Drink it with food.

Bright dark lemon yellow in color, the aromas feature steel, charcoal, fat sappy apple scents, fruit cocktail, and a touch of orange rind.  Medium bodied, plump, with light tannin, balance is a bit odd, the tannin fighting with the wine’s plumpness.  Modest flavors of peach and fruit cocktail are accented by caramel, charcoal and mineral notes.  The finish is lightly tannic with good follow-through and length.  December 2016


© Douglas Hillstrom 2014