New release of Plumpjack's Reserve Chardonnay - limited.
The PlumpJack Reserve Chardonnay 2020 is a fantastic Napa Chardonnay. Aromas of white peaches, pear, orange blossom and warm apple pie filling are followed on the palate with flavors of Fuji apples, cinnamon stick and lemon curd. Very pleasant to drink now but the acidity gives it room to age.
Plumpjack opts not for the typical profile of Napa Chardonnay with this bottling, but for the "alternative," without malolactic fermentation, and the attendant buttery palate profile. The winery's vintage note explains: "The cooler Carneros site imparts this wine with fresh green apple and Bartlett pear on the nose, while the warmer St. Helena site lends to some tropical notes. The Carneros vineyard also gives this wine a beautiful, bright, lively acidity, which is balanced by the creamy, rich texture of the St. Helena fruit. A touch of oak gives the wine traces of vanilla, flint, and spice."
This California Chardonnay is made by one of the greatest Tuscan wineries: Antinori. Known for their Super Tuscans, this California estate wine lives up to their greatly deserved reputation with this lovely Burgundian style Chardonnay.
98 points - limited
Arista is one of California's leading Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producers under the helm of winemaker Matt Courtney (Marcassin, Ferren), Limited.
previous vintage 98 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "From one of the Grand Cru sites in the Russian River, the Arista Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard saw the standard 12 months in one-third new French oak followed by six months in stainless steel. Buttered pineapple, nectarines, honeyed flowers, almond paste, toasted bread, and honeysuckle notes all emerge from the glass, and this beauty is full-bodied on the palate and flawlessly balanced. The purity of fruit is just about off the charts, and it has good acidity as well as a great mid-palate. This quintessential Russian River Chardonnay shows the classic power and richness of this appellation while also possessing freshness, elegance, and balance. Hats off to Matt Courtney for another tremendous wine....With the wines made by Matt Courtney, this Russian River estate continues to make some of the best wines in the vintage."
95 Points Robert Parker: "The Arista Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is a stunning wine. It offers singular aromas of guava, grapefruit peel and musky hints with layers of tangerine, green herbs, crushed stone and hints of elderflower. The medium-bodied palate is very expressive with kaleidoscopic flavor layers and addicting juiciness, finishing long and ever-changing in the mouth. This is a flamboyant expression that can be drunk immediately or cellared for a few years."
100 points - limited
* Rare Magnum (1.5L) bottle* - Limited new release from cult Chardonnay producer Mark Aubert.
100 Points Robert Parker: "Aubert noted that this is his coolest site and usually the last to be harvested. Located near the Hyde Estate winery, by virtue of chilly afternoon breezes, it is indeed among the coolest sites on the Napa side of the Los Carneros AVA. This section is planted to Corton-Charlemagne clone on St. George rootstock. A barrel sample, it is being aged in 50% new French oak barrels... Whoa—the Aubert Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons explodes from the glass with bombastic scents of sea spray, freshly shaved ginger, lemon curd and grapefruit plus emerging hints of green guava, lime cordial and coriander seed with a waft of struck flint. Full-bodied, rich and lively, the palate is remarkably fruity and yet possesses loads of mineral sparks and savory nuances, finishing very long and spicy. This vintage no doubt played to the strengths of this site beautifully in 2019, delivering a very impressive wine of amazing singularity and intensity."
...Mark Aubert continues to set the bar incredibly high for the world-class quality of his Burgundian-styled, remarkable Chardonnays, which come from relatively cool sites spread from Rutherford in Napa Valley to the far reaches of the Sonoma Coast. As I indicated last year, Aubert is at the top of his game, and it is hard to believe any Chardonnay winemaker in the world is turning out a half-dozen Chardonnays at this qualitative level year in and year out. He has had an incredible run of great success, after being mentored by none other than the reclusive and supremely talented Helen Turley when he took over the winemaking job at Peter Michael, then proceeded on to impressive sojourns at Colgin Estate as well as Tom Futo’s winery in Oakville."