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What should French Chardonnay taste like?

Dear Wine Lover,

French Chardonnay from California? HUH? 

Chardonnay, 2008. PassagesSeriously, sometimes a California wine comes along, either red and white, that exudes the same character of its European counterparts. Red wine from Napa that tastes like Bordeaux or a Syrah that screams Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or, in this case, Chardonnay from the Central Coast that yells, "Hey, I am from Mâcon (Burgundy, France)."

I don't think that is by design. The winemaker is just trying to bring out the best in the grape he/she is working with. And then, WHAM, this atypical wine comes out of the bottle.

One thing about great French Chardonnays is that they can age very well...3-5 years in the bottle is perfectly fine. In fact, they become very complex and tasty. And so it happens with this Passages 2008 Chardonnay.

I featured this wine in December, and in order to get the price I needed, I had to buy 100 cases extra. "Not a problem," I said, "this wine is only getting better!"

Here it is:

Gorgeous Central Coast Chardonnay that you might mistake for its French counterparts...umm, in quality, anyway---there is no way you can get French Chardonnay of this quality at $4.99 a bottle!

That's right: $4.99/bottle until it is gone.