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L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila says you can trick your friends with this wine find

Saratoga425 Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay is consistently one of the finest from California. But this one from the winery's Saratoga line — designed to showcase the Santa Cruz Mountain terroir — is a real find at this price.

The fruit is right there in the first sip. Light on the oak, the 2007 Saratoga Chardonnay carries a gentle lilt of citrus and a touch of anise. Like its big brother, it is Burgundian in style, grace in a glass.

Bring it to a dinner party as a ringer: It could be mistaken for a very expensive bottle.

Pour it with Copper River salmon, lobster, crab or a warm seafood salad.

Region: Santa Cruz Mountains

Price: About $23 to $28 Style: Lean and focused

What it goes with: Copper River salmon, lobster and crab.

Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Liquid Wine & Spirits in Chatsworth, (818) 709-5019; http://www.liquidpartyworks.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; the Wine Closet in Camarillo, (805) 383-9812, http://www.wineclosetinc.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com. Also from the winery, (888) 865-9643, http://www.mounteden.com.


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--S. Irene Virbila

File photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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