Arsonist Chard, light oak white (not BIG oak like Rombauer)
The Matchbook The Arsonist, is a lightly oaked Chardonnay.
The winemakers are trying to make it out as “big oak” with “caramel tantalize with notes of vanilla and barrel spice” and their webpage says the Arsonist Chardonnay is “big and voluptuous”. That’s giving the oak features too much credit.
I wouldn’t say the wine is big oak or weighted “voluptuous”, but instead the vanilla flavors are subtle, overpowered by a bright citrus flavor of ripe pineapple that persists. I didn’t get caramel, and the vanilla is light. This seems to be the way California is going with a bright fruit-forward Chard with some slight oak influence taking the acidic edge off, yet lightly flavored.
The Arsonist oak influence is nowhere near big oak of a classic Rombauer as the vanilla is there albeit light. It satisfied my oak-preferring palate but with too much citrus for me. Those who like a bolder citrus and some softening will like it.
If there was no other oak influenced white, I’d drink it. I did enjoy a glass.
Prices are $20-25 online.