Italian Chardonnays

I'm hooked on the bright, delicate flavors of Italian chardonnays. Italians may be relatively new to this grape, but they're making excellent wines with it. Silvio Jermann released his first vintage in 1980, but these wines are contenders. They have a great straw color, good fruity notes, a long finish, and they go brilliantly with all seafood. Aldo Conterno's Chardonnay Bussiador 2006 is exceptional: distinctly oaked, with a creamy richness that helps it complement all sorts of foods. The Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rey has been on every wine critic's short list for nearly a quarter-century, so its excellence is hardly a secret. —Mark McEwan, North 44, Toronto

Order the Silvio Jermann 2008 at Wally's Wine and Spirits (310-475-1450), and the Aldo Conterno Chardonnay Bussiador 2006 and Gaja Chardonnay Gaia & Rei at Italian Wine Merchants (212-473-2323)

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