AG Pick: Blackjack Ranch Chardonnay Wilkening Vineyard Reserve

There’s no gamble involved when it comes to the wines from Blackjack Ranch.  This winery, located just north of Santa Barbara in California’s Santa Ynez Valley makes some delicious reds and whites.

Among their great Chardonnays is the 2006 Wilkening Vineyard Reserve.  This wine looks like sunshine in a glass with its brilliant golden yellow color.  The smell is of ripe tropical fruit.  The taste is full and buttery, with notes of pineapple, banana, honeysuckle and ripe golden apple.  The warm lasting finish has flavors of toasty hazelnut and coconut.

This wine tastes great with a variety of seafood such as shrimp, crab cakes and Chilean sea bass.  It also pairs well with chicken and pork dishes that are prepared with an olive oil or cream-based sauce.  Or serve it with fruit and triple-cream cheese.

The Chardonnay Wilkening Vineyard Reserve 2006 costs $35.

For a delicious Chardonnay at a lower price, try Blackjack Ranch’s “Twenty-One,” appropriately priced at $21.  On the red side, I’m a big fan of the Double-Down Syrah ($26 for the 2006), the 2005 Allusion (81% Cabernet Franc and %19 Merlot for $30), and the Harmonie, Blackjack Ranch’s signature Bordeaux blend that ranges from $48 for the 2006 vintage to $100 for the 2003 vintage.

For more information on Blackjack Ranch visit

Related: Wine Tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley – Blackjack Ranch