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2007 Ondine Chardonnay 

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Darling, South Africa / $16 Retail

The vineyards of Darling, a relatively unknown viticultural district on South Africa's west coast, are cooled by Atlantic breezes sweeping across the area's coastal plains, gently sloping hillsides and mountains. After fermentation, half the wine rests in tanks and half ages five months in oak barrels in an effort to retain the freshness of the fruit while enhancing the richness of the final product. In the glass, the well-balanced wine offers citrus aromas, vanilla undertones, subtle minerality and a refreshing acidity. It's wonderful as an aperitif or paired with grilled shrimp or fish, buttery scallops, oysters en brochette, chicken salad and other lighter fare. Buy it at: Dorignac's. Drink it at: NOLA. — Brenda Maitland

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