Intrepid wine sleuths bring us a rich French Chardonnay that’s never seen wood: 2012 Milou Pays d’Oc Chardonnary

Noah Dorrance and Baron Ziegler, exploring Aperes near the Languedoc coast, found Chardonnay they figured would put pure, bright fruit in bottles with the name Milou. They were right! Judy, who wants wood and full mouthfeel in her whites — and thinks she won’t find that under a French-labelled gravel-grown Chardonnay — loved it.

The explorers designed the 2012 Milou. The Food and Wine wine club distributed it and we have just enjoyed it with a pilaf and mango-dominated tropical sauce. The wine actually seems very versatile.

Peach aromas burst from the bottle. In the mouth, peach still dominates but there’s other fruit, and there’s bright citric acid to carry the flavors through to a clean, sprightly finish.

The wine is part of a gift subscription to the Food and Wine club, from our beloved nephew-in-law Ron and wife Sherry, my neice. I recommend the club to anyone in search of a really wonderful way to honor somebody special. It’s a warm tribute to a special relationship.

This wine never saw anything growing from roots in the ground (except the grapes). Fermented in steel, it also was aged in steel. As the California wine sleuths believed, fine fruit treated their way need not be austere, even thin, as bargain wines at you grocer can be. Judy was impressed. If she was, then you almost have to be!

Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster, .