Monday, February 9, 2015

Force of Nature 2012 Murmur Vineyard Chardonnay ($22.50)

If you haven't yet seen the new Force of Nature labels from Rob Murray (Tooth & Nail), you'll probably see them soon. The colorized vintage etchings are dazzling, and I suspect they'll be pretty successful at retail, where a good label can really make a difference. I'm happy to report that the wines are quite good, too. In general, they're made in a fruit-forward California style with grapes hailing mainly from Santa Barbara County and Paso Robles. I do like the fact that they don't rely heavily on a lot of new oak, and that lack of woodiness really allows the quality of the fruit to shine through in the case of the 2013 Murmur Vineyard Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County. It's full-bodied with luscious peach, guava and mango fruit flavors that have impressive sustain. A little more acidity wouldn't hurt it, but the exotic tropical fruit flavors are genuinely impressive. (91)

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