94 Points - great new release
A fantastic new Chardonnay discovery from the true Sonoma Coast! If you like Flowers, Marcassin or Kistler you should add Fort Ross to that list of great Chardonnay producers. One of our favorite new Califorina wineries.
94 Points Robert Parker: "The 2015 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard sports an intensely tropical nose of pineapple and passion fruit over suggestions of honeyed peaches, ginger and baking bread. Medium-bodied and elegantly fruited in the mouth, there are a lot of understated layers to excite the palate and it finishes long and savory/yeasty. Only 239 cases were produced...
...This small operation boasts Jeff Pisoni as the winemaker and is owned by Lester and Linda Schwartz. They began planting their 55-acre vineyard in 1994, with the first vintage in 2000. The wines are all bottled unfined and unfiltered, with the Chardonnay coming from Old Hyde and Wente field selections. The Pinot Noir is generally an assemblage of clones such as Calera, Pommard, Swan and Dijon 115 and 777. These are impressive Burgundian-style Pinot Noirs that merit serious attention. These are all impressive wines sold at extremely fair prices."
Fort Ross Winery is nestled on a sunny coastal ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile below. Their “True Sonoma Coast” vineyard is one of the closest, if not the closest, to the ocean in all of California. This is a great Chardonnay if you are looking for a style somwhere between the over-oaked and the steely style. It's all about the gorgeous fruit in this one, Highly recommended.
A great new Chardonnay discovery from the Santa Rita Hills that strikes a great balance between fruit and crisp acidity thats not overoaked! Get it before the new ratings come out.
80 % of the Chardonnay grapes for this wine come from Babcock's Estate Vineyard. You get the brisk acidity and minerality from this fruit and the varietal character and flesh from the Loma Verde fruit. With a nose of pineapple and lemon meringue, it’s hard to resist. There’s a pinch of clove and maybe a little tapioca thing going on in there as well. The mouth is beautifully rich without being over the top.
A great small-produyction Napa Chardonnay from Barnett Vineyards on Spring Mountain.
Hal Barnett told us he has contracted the same parcels, same rows for years so the flavor profile and style would have an estate character. Using two Dijon clones and a Wente clone of Chardonnay, then going 22% through malolactic fermentation, winemaker David Tate has produced a delicious Chardonnay. The wine is made in a style that Chardonnay lovers could sip alone, but has the backbone and structure to succeed at the table. There are interesting layers of flavor to savor, with a floral element buried in there. Very attractive. Rich and layered, with a mix of tangerine, nectarine, spice and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, ending with a spicy, citrus- and cedar-laced finish.
Barnett Vineyards is located off of the narrow windy Spring Mountain Road which connects Napa and Sonoma Counties – about 1.5 miles in. This is a small estate winery (founded in 1983 by Hal & Fiona Barnett) located on very steep hillsides with slopes up to 35%! Their original intent was never to build a winery but rather to have a weekend private getaway location from San Francisco. For a fairly small production they make a wide variety of wines – as of our latest visit, 11 different wines are made here. They are strong believers in unique terroir sites and will source fruit from a variety of locations (not necessarily within Napa) based on where specific varietals grow best.
93 Points Parker - New release
Inaugural release of a beautiful new Chardonnay from Beringer.
Robert Parker: "Beringer’s 2015 Chardonnay Luminus shows a touch of new oak, but this is meant to highlight the ripe tropical fruit of California’s Chardonnay. This wine displays tangerine and pineapple along with hints of pear, crème brûlée and citrus blossom. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity, it should drink nicely for another 3-4 years."