Chardonnay is the grape world's most versatile actor, capable of laying the butter on thick in an oaky Napa melodrama, or playing its fruit as cool, crisp and austere as a French aristocrat.
The wines from Chablis in northern Burgundy practically define chardonnay's "steely" side, but as this premier cru Chablis Mont de Milieu from Simonnet-Febvre shows, there is also surprising depth behind the tart attitude. The 2004 gives a lively lemon snap at first sip, but then the wine lingers on the palate with impressive sustain, mingling flavors that are both stony and smooth as silk. It might taste even smoother in Pennsylvania, where it's on sale for more than 50 percent off its list price (regularly $43.99).
Simonnet-Febvre 2004 Chablis premier cru Mont de Milieu costs $19.99 at selected Pennsyl-
vania State Stores.- Craig LaBan