Limited new release of a small-production Chardonnay from Patria.
Right away its crystal clear that this is the more forward of the two Patrisa Chardonnays. Explosive aromas of Roasted hazelnut, apple pie filling, orange blossom and lemon oil are followed on the palate with expansive flavors of roasted apple, pineapple husk, lime zest and marzipan. Of the two I would crack into the Ritchie first to enjoy its youthful precociousness.
Patria is one of the newest cult wines we've discovered in Napa Valley. Between the pedigree behind the wine and the quality of what is in the bottle, this production is poised to be on the radar of collectors and connoisseurs alike. Anthony (Tony) Biagi, former Winemaker of Plumpjack wines and still consultant at Cade Winery, is the mastermind behind Patria. Bringing years of experience to the table, Tony crafts these rich, dense and chewy style of Cabernet Sauvignon that we've come to love over the years and the 2014 is another excellent vintage.
Another beauty from the Chardonnay masters at Patz & Hall - sourced from the Hyde Vineyard made famous by Kistler!
Hyde Vineyard has justifiably become one of the superstar vineyards in Carneros. The Patz & Hall 2012 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is perhaps the most sought after fruit in the pantheon of great California vineyards.
92 Points Robert Parker: "The 2013 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard (1,100 cases produced) is made from the Hyde-Old Wente clone. From sandy, clay, loam soils, it offers up aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, delicate pineapple and subtle oak. Medium to full-bodied with great acidity as well as beautiful purity and freshness, it should drink nicely for 5-7 years, perhaps longer...Patz and Hall has long been a model for how to run a high-quality négociant business, buying fruit from top vineyards and crafting it into wines that can compete with the finest from estate vineyards.."
Great new Chardonnay release from Patz & Hall - dont miss.
91 Points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers aromas of honey-drizzled peaches, poached pears, musk melon and butterscotch. Medium to full-bodied with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and plenty of butter-laced stone fruit flavors on offer, it has great harmony and persistence"
In addition to reflecting the dazzling quality of the 2017 growing season, the 2017 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay includes grapes from an exceptional new vineyard that was planted specifically for us by renowned winegrower Mark Sanchietti. Though it comes from a who’s who of world-class Sonoma Coast vineyards, the core of this Chardonnay is from Sanchietti Vineyard Pleasant Hill and Gap’s Crown, with the Sanchietti fruit adding richness and texture and the Gap’s Crown grapes providing minerality and vibrant acidity. Blended with grapes from acclaimed vineyards like Parmalee Hill, Dutton Ranch and Durell Vineyard, this wine is beautifully complex with aromas and flavors of pineapple, guava, honeydew and lime zest, as well as secondary notes of toasted almond macaroon, cinnamon and sugar cookies. On the palate, it is plush and mouthfilling, flowing to a long, layered finish"
Another fabulous Chardonnay from Paul Hobbs. Get the new release while it's available.
93 Points Robert Parker: "A tank sample, the 2017 Chardonnay gives up gorgeous, expressive crème brûlée, ripe apricots and honeysuckle scents with touches of pink grapefruit, guava and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied with a beautiful satiny texture, it delivers bold fruit and compelling freshness through the long finish. 5,900 cases are expected to be made, to be released in March 2019."
91 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2017 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is pliant, supple and expressive. This open-knit, beautifully textured Chardonnay captures all the natural richness of the year and also retains terrific freshness. This is another strong vintage for this consistently outstanding Chardonnay."
...Paul Hobbs is undoubtedly one of the world’s finest consultants, and as Americans we’re lucky to have this New York State-born winemaking guru right in the heart of the Russian River, turning out a bevy of wines from both Napa and the following items from their estate vineyards in Sonoma as well as from purchased fruit. Hobbs has a separate entity now, which is aimed at producing good value wines under the Cross Barn by Paul Hobbs moniker. There’s some juicy, high-quality stuff in these cuvées."
95 Points Parker - limited
Limited new single-vineyard Chardonnay from Paul Hobbs from the Ellen Lane Vineyard.
95 Points Robert Parker: "A barrel sample, the Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate opens wonderfully fragrant and spicy on the nose, with intense scents of guava, papaya and peaches plus accents of gingersnap, honeycomb, quince paste and dried mushroom. The palate is medium-bodied, intensely flavored but delicately styled with racy acidity and mineral streaks, finishing long, textured and nuanced. Yes! 350 cases are expected to be made and released in March 2020."
93 Points Antonio Galloni: "The Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate is creamy, open-knit and sensual, with no hard edges and impeccable balance. Apricot and lemon confit give the Ellen Lane inner sweetness and perfume to match its gracious, mid-weight personality. This is very nicely done."
...Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. He’s an international consultant known for his outstanding work in Argentina. He is also now involved in a joint venture in the Finger Lakes region of New York, so hopefully we can anticipate some interesting Rieslings and possibly Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and even Gewurztraminer emerging from New York State. I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. The tastings reflect the fact that, for Chardonnay, both 2013 and 2014 are brilliant vintages, and for Pinot Noir, 2014 may possibly eclipse 2013. As for the Bordeaux varietals, there’s no question that 2013 is the game-changer, as I indicated in previous reports, but 2014 is delicious and another top-notch success."
A great new Chardonnay from one of California's most celebrated winemakers Paul Hobbs. Crossbarn is his new label and a fantastic value in high-end Chardonnay.
90 Points Robert Parker: "The 2019 Chardonnay is fresh and bright, offering aromas of green pears, baker's yeast, crushed stone and white blossoms. The palate is medium-bodied, silky and uplifted with crisp fruits and a mineral driven finish."
Paul Hobbs's Crossbarn label has long been lauded for beautiful Sonoma County Pinots and Chardonnays, while also producing delicious Cabernets from Napa Valley and Sonoma County. As Antonio Galloni has said, "Paul Hobbs's Crossbarn label is a great place to look for values."
95 Points - limited
Discover this up-and-coming Sonoma Coast superstar while its still available! One of the top-rated California Chardonnays of the vintage.
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2017 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard is a tropical, lush, opulent and wonderfully layered wine that shows all of the oiliness and texture that is such a signature of this site. Rich and textured yet also light on its feet, the 2017 is a real winner. The 2017 is just gorgeous."
This beauty comes from Robbie Meyer, former assistant at Peter Michael winery. Super-small production and one of the best Chardonnays we've found in California!
95 Points - limited
Discover this up-and-coming Sonoma Coast superstar while its still available! One of the our favorite small-production, high end Chardonnays from Peirson Meyer.
94+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay Sophia's Vineyard is scented of orchard fruits, white flowers and beeswax with a youthful framing of matchstick-like reduction. The palate is silky, lifted and ripe, with mineral character adding tension and a long finish laced with floral perfume. It's tensile and lively and will age well in bottle. 150 cases were made."
93 Points Robert Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Chardonnay Sophia's Vineyard is a bit brighter than most of the Chardonnays in this range and also has more phenolic edge, which helps shape the wine. Lemon confit, chamomile, dried flowers and apricot all open in the glass. Readers will want to open the 2018 well in advance. This is one of the most impressive wines I have tasted from Alan Peirson and Robbie Meyer."
This beauty comes from Robbie Meyer, former assistant at Peter Michael winery. Super-small production and one of the best Chardonnays we've found in California!
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."
An outstanding value in Napa Valley Chardonnay from the folks at Far Niente!
This is the inaugural vintage of the Post & Beam Chardonnay from the highly experienced team at the Far Niente family of wineries. Post & Beam refers to the beauty of simplicity, and this Chardonnay is exactly that. This Chardonnay displays the ripeness of Napa Valley with vibrant citrus peel, mango, and ripe apple and peach. On the palate the acidity is lively and refreshing providing a rigid backbone to support the ripe tree fruit, candied citrus peel and well balanced oak.
Named for the simple yet elegant barns that dot the American landscape as an enduring reminder of our history, Post & Beam represents craftsmanship, tradition, legacy, and purity. There’s nothing unnecessary or overly complicated about a post and beam barn. It just works beautifully. The same can be said for our wines. They are simple, elegant, pure expressions of each grape in its finest form.
Tasting Notes: An alluring perfume of mango and fresh gardenia with whispers of candied citrus rind and spices open onto a round, full palate layered with fresh citrus and stone fruit flavors. Bright acidity provides structure and a mouthwatering juiciness and the finish has a captivating briny minerality that will make it a delight with fish, oysters and seafood. Enjoy this ripe and mineral Chardonnay with steamed lobster or roasted chicken and rich creamy cheeses like camembert.
New release from legendary Pride Mountain Winery atop Spring Mountain. Limited.
93 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Pride's Chardonnay is gorgeous. Bright, fresh and layered, it offers wonderful nuance and delineation from start to finish. Citrus confit, white flowers and a hint of tropical fruit all grace this pretty, mid-weight Chardonnay from Pride. The Chardonnay is a blend of fruit from Carneros and the Russian River, done in a style that emphasizes freshness and vivacity."
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The base Prde Chardonnay comes 77% from Napa County and 23% from Sonoma County and had a portion of the malolactic fermentation blocked. It’s another richly textured, opulent white from this team that has plenty of white currant and peach fruits as well as a touch of green almonds, honeyed lime, and white flower. Nicely textured, balanced, and with a great finish, drink this pleasure bent Chardonnay over the coming 2-4 years.
90 Points Robert Parker: "The Pride Chardonnay comes 77% from Napa county and 23% from Sonoma county and about one-third of the fruit went through malolactic. It gives up somewhat restrained notions of fresh pears, spiced apples and warm peaches with hints of nutmeg, lightly buttered toast and acacia honey. Medium to full-bodied, the palate packs-in the fresh, crunchy apple and pears flavors with a racy backbone and silken textured finish."
Another great chardonnay release from the master David Ramey. Get some while it's still available.
96 Points Wine Enthusiast "Editor's Choice": "Nutty hazelnut and stony minerality combine seamlessly in this impressive white from the coastal appellation. Full bodied, concentrated and structured, it imparts steely, lively flavors of lemon peel and tangerine, finishing with a soft silkiness to the texture and overall balance of weight."
Wine Spectator #7 Wine of 2019!
95 Points Wine Spectator: "Powerful and sleek up front, showing Honeycrisp apple, lemon blossom, Asian pear and Sumo orange flavors that are bright, fresh and heightened by crisp acidity. Delivers sea salt, white tea and nutmeg details on the finish, with a touch of fresh lemon thyme for aromatic flair. Drink now through 2040."
100 Points Wine Enthusiast "Cellar Selection": 'This is a stunner from blocks planted in 1997 and 1999. Beautiful aromas of toasted hazelnut and stone lead to a palate that shows undeniable minerality paired with lasting acidity. It shows freshness and energy throughout. Drink 2026 - 2032."
Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is consistently one of California's finest Chardonnays. Second-tier doesn't cut it for Ramey fruit sources. Larry Hyde's gem of a property has been recognized on labels from Marcassin, Paul Hobbs and Kistler. Unbelievably nuanced for a full-throttle Chardonnay, this balances California flair with restraint and grip.
100 Points Wine Enthusiast
Another great chardonnay release from the master David Ramey. Get some while it's still available.
95 Points Wine Spectator: "A stunning white wine, with plenty of power and balance to the mix of details, including lemon curd, Fuji apple, mandarin orange and a hint of ripe Crenshaw melon. Offers accents of white tea, fresh clipped herbs and creamy salted butter that are seamlessly integrated with firm acidity. Drink now through 2030."
98 Points Wine Enthusiast: "From older plantings on a wide-spaced site - one the producer has worked with for some time - this wine is complicated and wild, combining rich, elegant flavors of salty sea breeze with ginger and lemon puree. Seamless and supple, it has a backbone of structure and lively acidity that pair effortlessly with the apple and pear."
98 Points - limited release
A great new Chardonnay release from Ramey. Limited.
100 Points Wine Enthusiast "Editor's Choice": "This wine is a testament to an outstanding site in the hands of an outstanding producer. It is a celebration of fresh Meyer lemon and Gravenstein apple woven against an elegant structure and quenching acidity."
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of my favorite releases from Ramey, the Chardonnay Rochioli Vineyard comes from a Grand Cru site in the Russian River and has incredibly classic notes of white flowers, tart citrus, and subtle orchard fruits. It’s one of those wines that’s both powerful and elegant, with medium to full body, a great mid-palate, integrated acidity, and just everything in the right places. It’s a beautiful, layered, age-worthy Chardonnay to enjoy over the coming 10-15 years."
Ridge's Estate Chardonnay is one of the best buys in California. A gem from the Santa Cruz Mountains, it's got complex fruit aromas and flavors, firm acidity, leesy texture and a mineral streak that make this a Chardonnay that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with your next meal. Get the new vintage before the scores come out!
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2019 Chardonnay Estate offers a beautiful sense of reduction and minerality in its stone fruits, toasted brioche, and crushed stone-like aromas and flavors. A kiss of green almonds and salinity emerges with time in the glass, and this is a beautiful, classic Chardonnay from this team that will evolve gracefully for a good 20 years or more."
91 Points Wine Spectator: "Big and rich, with concentrated baked pear, apple pastry and glazed apricot flavors that are luscious and well-spiced. The creamy finish is loaded with buttery plushness. Drink now through 2024."
previous vintage 95 points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Estate is an impeccable, classy wine layered with bright citrus, flowers and just a touch of sweetness from the oak. Crushed rocks and lime peel add complexity on the textured, long finish. None of the blocks were designated for the Monte Bello bottling, all of the fruit went into the Estate. This is a stunningly pure wine from Ridge. I came back to the 2009 Estate after having tasted all of the reds and the wine showed beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019."
Rare Chardonnay release from Russian River Valley cult producer Rochioli.
94 Points "Editor's Choice" Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and creamy, this is a standout wine from the great vineyard owner and producer. It shines in a wealth of golden honey and salty oak, a well-balanced sensibility streaked through in a memorable, ying-yang of lushness and crisp Gravenstein apple."
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): “Tom Rochioli's Chardonnay Estate is a classy, understated appellation-level wine from various blocks on the estate. Racy and beautifully textured, the 2015 is super-finessed from start to finish. Lemon confit, apricot, mint and chamomile add shades of nuance, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that stands out most. This is a gorgeous Chardonnay from Tom Rochioli."
This wine is a fine example of the unique characteristics from the Rochioli property and the Russian River Valley. Aromas of ripe apple, tropical fruit, hazelnut and a touch of spice combine with the rich apple flavors and crisp acidity. A blend from different vineyard sites: 65% Mid 40, 35% River Block
CA's most popular Chardonnay
Rare Rombauer Proprietors Selections Chardonnay now available! Limited.
99 Points Robert Parker: "The 2019 Chardonnay from Domaine Drouhin Roserock is absolutely stunning, and I simply can't put it down. It explodes with singular scents of fenugreek, sage and dried flowers streaked with graphite, and it glides across the palate like satin, an integrated tang drawing out lemongrass-like accents that add a touch of exoticism to this cuvée. It finishes with extraordinary length."
94 Points Wines & Spirits: "Roserock lies on the southern reaches of the Eola–Amity Hills near the outskirts of Salem, Oregon’s state capital. It’s a large vineyard, planted mostly to pinot noir save for about 11 acres of chardonnay planted a little over a decade ago. Those vines grew an opulent wine in 2018, made firm and shapely by the coolness of the site and of the Oregon summer. It leads with scents of honey and peach, and has a hazelnut breadth. It’s built like a Beaune wine (no surprise there); for a chicken fricassee."
A fantastic new Chardonnay from Beringer winemaker Ed Sbragia who started his own boutique label sourcing the best Dry Creek Valley fruit for the Sbragia Home Ranch Chardonnay.
Robert Parker: "For starters, there are four Chardonnays, which include the 2014 Chardonnay Home Ranch – a terrific value in Chardonnay that is barrel-fermented in about 30% French oak and aged 10 months prior to bottling. The wine reveals discrete oak, caramelized citrus, a touch of honey and has an attractive, light gold color with a greenish hue. It is medium-bodied and exhibits a gravelly minerality. Drink it over the next several years."
Wine Spectator "Bold, rich and spicy, with a juicy core of melon, fig, green apple and citrus flavors, shaded by light spicy oak. Young and edgy, this can stand a little cellar time. Drink now through 2020."
New release from Beaux-Freres owner Mike Etzel's new label, Sequitur. Tiny production.
For the Sequitur 2018 Chardonnay there was one new French oak barrel and the amphora. The new oak percentage was 27% with the remaining 73% being fermented and aged in the amphora. The cooper for the new barrel was Francois Freres, all this wine competed malolactic fermentation.
93+ Points Robert Parker: "The Sequitur Chardonnay has a gregarious nose of spiced, baked yellow apples and warm pineapple with notes of toast, honey, hazelnut and hay. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with warm orchard and tropical fruits accented by nuances of baking spice, nuts and honey, with a touch of creaminess to the texture, juicy acidity and a long, mineral-laced finish. 85 cases produced."
Mike D. Etzel has been the co-owner and winemaker at Beaux Frères since the late 1980s and began planting a vineyard adjacent to Beaux Freres in 2010. He then launched a new project with partner Carey Critchlow known as Sequitor. The inaugural Pinot Noir under the Sequitur label was the 2014 vintage.
Shafer's Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay is one of California's finest examples of this varietal - don't miss it while it's available.
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "I've always loved the Chardonnay from this team, and their 2019 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch has that classic richer, full-bodied style while staying balanced and light on its feet. Buttered lemons, tangerines, green almond, and toasty notes all make an appearance, and it's incredibly textured, with nicely integrated acidity and one heck of a finish. This powerful Chardonnay is going to impress right out of the gate."
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2019 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch is a beautiful wine. Soft, creamy and layered in the glass, the 2019 possesses superb balance from the outset. Lees stirring brings out creaminess and resonance, yet the 2019 retains terrific energy to match its mid-weight personality. This is very nicely done. "
“…one of the best non-malolactic, barrel-fermented Chardonnays in California …”
The Wine Advocate
95 Points Parker - limited
A fantastic new small-production Chardonnay from the famed Sangiacomo Vineyard made famous by Rombauer.
93 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2019 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a beauty that gives up a fresh, lively, medium-bodied style as well as textbook Chardonnay ripe orchard fruits, white flowers, and honeyed toast. I like its overall balance on the palate, it has good acidity, and outstanding length...
...Since Sojourn Cellars jumped into the wild and competitive wine marketplace several years ago, they have proved to be adept at turning out a large line-up of high quality as well as good value wines. Their current offerings include three Chardonnays, six Pinot Noirs and four Cabernet Sauvignons."
The newest member of the lineup is the Sonoma-Cutrer 2018 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, an assemblage of select lots representing the best that the Sonoma Coast appellation has to offer. The backbone of this blend comes from the estate Cutrer vineyard, where vines struggle in alluvial soils and their Grand Cru approach to viticultural practices assures that only the finest fruit is the foundation for this offering. Vine Hill, with sandy, clay, loam soils adds significantly to the mix.
Distinct aromas of ginger and lemon zest are joined by toasty coconut, melon and caramel alongside a mineral, flinty cedar-chest oakiness overlaid by notes of honeysuckle. In the mouth, a well-balanced wine with a solid acid backbone is rich, medium to heavy in weight with a broad yet still firm mid-palate. The finish is long and lingering and notable for a touch of spice and lively acidty. Flavors of lemon, apple, pear, pineapple and cantaloupe -- the full array of Sonoma's cornucopia of fruit, joins a nutty, spicy, lightly oaky profile that stakes out a unique territory sure to please those who love Chardonnay
93+ points Parker
A fantastic small-production Chardonnay! Try it while it's still available.
93 + Points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Reserve offers up notes of white grapefruit, lemon tart and white peaches with hints of struck match, baking bread and crushed stones. Medium-bodied with a gorgeous, silken texture and lively backbone cutting through the densely-packed citrus and savory layers, it finishes long and minerally."
Stuhlmuller Vineyards is located at the southern edge of the Alexander Valley, where it converges with two other highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. A great new small-production discovery for us, we highly recommend this Chardonnay. A lovely golden-green color leads to warm, inviting aromatics of yellow pear, buttered peach, oatmeal and honeysuckle. On the palate, it offers a smooth, creamy texture, with rich layers of lemon custard, Asian pear, honey and hazelnut. This is a classically structured California Chardonnay with beautiful ripe fruit and well-integrated oak.
Stuhlmuller Vineyards is located at the southern edge of the Alexander Valley, where it converges with two other highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. A great new small-production discovery for us, we highly recommend this Chardonnay.
Robert Parker: "The Stuhlmuller Estate is a classic California Chardonnay showing notes of white peach, a bit of honey, and background oak, it is medium to full-bodied and possesses some interesting minerality. Pure and impeccably well-made, it is a delicious, full-throttle Maconnais style of Chardonnay to drink over the next several years. These wines have shown consistently well in my tastings. Moreover, they represent excellent value for high quality."
Always one of California's highest-rated Chardonnays from Talley Vineyards!
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Light, bright yellow-gold. Mineral-driven pear, orange and floral qualities on the intensely perfumed nose, along with a hint of iodine. Silky, focused and lively in the mouth, offering sharply defined citrus and orchard fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of fennel, sweet butter and honeysuckle. Shows excellent concentration as well as energy, and finishes minerally, precise and very long, with repeating floral and pear notes. 28% new French oak."
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and surrounding Rosemary Talley’s home, Rosemary’s Vineyard is the coolest site at Talley Vineyards, has distinctive chalky shale soils and produces chardonnay marked by refreshing acidity. It produces our most ageworthy and highly regarded wines.
The 2016 vintage of Rosemary’s Chardonnay is pale straw in appearance. On the nose, creamy notes of hazelnut and croissant are balanced by a hint of white flower. The palate is marked by a zesty acidity, with notes of lemon balm, juicy Golden Delicious apple, and crushed rock. Try pairing this chardonnay with Petrale sole garnished with a corn relish or soft Camembert cheese
Introducing Prisoner’s newest creation, the sultry, beautifully layered and dangerously irresistible Carneros Chardonnay. Showcasing Chardonnay’s elegantly tropical and subtly sunkissed side, this is a must have for fruit forward Chardonnay lovers this fall.
Bursting with aromas of vanilla, crème brûlée, and baked apple. Full bodied and rich on the palate, flavors of pineapple and toasted oak integrate nicely with the balanced acidity
and smooth finish.
Varner is a great boutique Chardonnay producer in California's Santa Cruz Mountains.
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lots of flinty minerality, crushed citrus, lime, and white flower notes emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay, which is racy and vibrant on the palate, with good acidity and a great finish. With a Burgundian styled sense of reduction and minerality, a tight, chiseled texture, ad a great finish, it's a beautiful wine."
...Brothers Jim and Bob Varner describe 2010 as a cold year with two heat spikes that were shorter and less dramatic than in other parts of California. It was a long growing season, and the fruit came in 2-3 weeks later than normal. As always, the Varner and Neely wines were fermented in barrel, with native yeasts, natural fermentation and minimal handling. These broad-shouldered Chardonnays and deep, resonant Pinots remain some of the most compelling wines being made in California."
95 points - new release
Walter Hansel's Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay is a beautiful, hand-crafted 100% Chardonnay from one of our favorite boutique producers down the road from Kistler. Limited.
95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2019 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is a total knock-out. Rich, ample and explosive, the 2019 possesses tremendous depth and textural elegance to burn. Citrus confit, white flowers, chamomile and light tropical notes lend an exotic flair to this striking, beautifully delineated Chardonnay from Hansel."
previous vintage 95 Points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce opens slowly to lovely aromas of warm peaches and apricots with accents of toast, roasted almonds and honey. The medium-bodied palate is silky, super concentrated, layered and fresh, cut through with uplifting mineral character and finishing very, very long. Gorgeous!"
Robert Parker: "...This is an enviable winery run by Stephen Hansel with exceptionally high-quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that he sells at modest prices, which speaks to his humility and commitment to serious wine consumers. There are more than 80 acres of estate, so it is not small, split evenly between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He breaks the cuvées down by their vineyard terroir/site."
The Walter Hansel North Slope Chardonnay is another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2019 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is one of the most overtly, powerful wines in this range. A wine of real phenolic intensity, the North Slope is a structured, savory Chardonnay that is going to need a few years to come around. It is incredibly distinctive. Crushed rocks, tangy herbs and lemon confit all grace a Chardonnay that balances power with transparency."
...The Hansel wines capture the essence of the Russian River in their exuberant, forward personalities. In my view, the Chardonnays are reference points for what Wente clone Chardonnay is all about. Quality is high across the board and pricing remains incredibly consumer friendly throughout the range, making these some of the most delicious and compelling Sonoma wines readers will come across."
94 Points - New Release
Another great chardonnay release from Walter Hansel. Limited.
previous vintage 94 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): " The Walter Hansel Chardonnay The Meadows is creamy and ample in the glass, but shows the fresh, vibrant style that defines the vintage at Hansel. Lemon confit, spice, dried flowers and chamomile all take shape in the glass. Dry-farmed Chardonnay, all Hanzell clone, on the lowest-lying blocks of the property, yielded a Chardonnay with thick skins and notable intensity.
Robert Parker: "...The Hansel wines capture the essence of the Russian River in their exuberant, forward personalities. In my view, the Chardonnays are reference points for what Wente clone Chardonnay is all about. Quality is high across the board and pricing remains incredibly consumer friendly throughout the range, making these some of the most delicious and compelling Sonoma wines readers will come across."
95 Points - limited
New Sonoma Coast releases from Pahlmeyer - limited.
95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2019 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is open and gregarious, with scents of yellow peach, jasmine, honeycomb, almond and touches of struck flint. The full-bodied palate is satiny and packed with lush, perfumed fruits, and it offers generous honey, nutty tones on the very long finish. The fruit for this bottling comes from four different clones planted on the Wayfarer property."
Cleo Pahlmeyer, daughter of Napa Valley's Jayson Pahlmeyer, came up with the idea of produce a stand-alone brand from the Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma coast in 2012. According to the St. Helena Star, "then-Pahlmeyer winemaker Helen Turley had called the property the destined 'La Tache of California,' referring to the blessed grand cru in Burgundy." Pahlmeyer teamed up with winemaker Bibiana González Rave, formerly of Lynmar, on this project. The Star: "Indeed, the 2013 Wayfarer Vineyard Chardonnay has well-integrated oak nuances, with toastiness on the nose that expresses itself more as a complex, rich mouth feel on the palate. Pahlmeyer explained that the medium toast of the barrels used is key to maintaining balanced flavor; a heavier toast is not desired. The 2012 Wayfarer chardonnay ages in 65 percent new French oak
Tired of Oak-bomb Chardonnays? The new White Rock 2016 Chardonnay is a beautiful balance of California fruit and earthy minerality. One of our favorite boutique Napa wineries we think you should discover now.
White Rock Vinyards Chardonnay has flavors of meyer lemon, linden flower, honey, hazelnut and an undercurrent of toasty oak in the nose. In the mouth this wine delivers what the aroma promises: a rich mouthful of lemon cream pie and hazelnut crust, with lime, pineapple and mineral flavors that linger on the palate. Seamless and refreshing."
Estate grown and bottled.