The movie "Sideways" popularized the Pinot Noir wines of Santa Barbara County, but the Chardonnays of this appellation are also worth a look. I tried this at a recent D&W tasting at Charlie Foster's in Kalamazoo and was impressed enough by the quality and price ($6.99) to spring for a few bottles.
With a light yellow color, the wine looks younger than its years. Aromas are fresh and lovely--white peaches, pears, flowers and a hint of passion fruit. There's a delicacy to this wine that is quite attractive to both the nose and palate. It captures the charm and complexity of Chardonnay without the oaky extras. Citrus and apples are apparent on the crisp finish. This, I believe, has been aged in new wood, but the oak is not at all apparent, and it has the qualities I love in a good New Zealand unoaked Chardonnay. It's my style and well worth $6.99, although I have yet to see it in the shops.