Chardonnay is not usually most people’s “go-to” Italian wine. That is, unless you know of the few outstanding producers scattered throughout that country. (I fell in love with Jermann’s “Dreams” many years ago.) One that actually has roots in the 19th century is Frescobaldi’s Benefizio, Castello Di Pomino. At upwards to 2,400 feet in altitude, this small Tuscan locale has grown the Chardonnay grape for many decades and has produced a barrel-fermented Chardonnay since 1973. It is now a serious player worldwide, and the 2015 iteration is a joy to drink. Delicious now, further aging will be an option for you to consider.
2015 Benefizio, Castello Di Pomino Bianco Riserva, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi $40 srp
Deep straw in color, this has a gorgeous nose of apple, peach and melon with an almost honeyed sensation. Light spice and a nutty quality also tickle the sinuses. Flavors are opulent and creamy with a high glycerine sense that coats the palate. There is judicious oak underpinning with a long finish and good acid lift for refreshment. I’d match this with a dish of creamed vegetables, fish or pasta. (Aged in French oak with 50% new, and 50% one year-old barrels.) Drink now-2020.