Arista is one of California's leading Pinot Noir producers under the helm of winemaker Matt Courtney (Ferren), Limited.
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The appellation Arista 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley spent 12 months in just 20% new French oak. This medium gold-hued Chardonnay offers a beautiful nose of orchard fruits, honeyed citrus, green almonds, toasted bread, and flower oil. Rich, full-bodied, and opulent on the palate, it has subtle background oak, rocking levels of fruit and texture, good acidity, and a great finish...With the wines made by Matt Courtney, this Russian River estate continues to make some of the best wines in the vintage."
Arista is one of California's leading Pinot Noir producers under the helm of winemaker Matt Courtney (Ferren), Limited.
98 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "From one of the Grand Cru sites in the Russian River, the 2017 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."
99 points - limited
Limited new release from cult Chardonnay producer Mark Aubert.
99 Points Robert Parker: "CIX stands for 109, because this was originally called “Parcel 109” when Aubert bought the vineyard. Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX Estate slips sensuously from the glass with beguiling scents of apple blossoms, honeysuckle and orange peel over a core of ripe Bosc pears, coriander seed, white pepper and shaved almonds plus a touch of talc. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has seamless freshness and the most beautifully perfumed personality, finishing long and fragrant....
...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."
Limited new release from cult Chardonnay producer Mark Aubert.
98 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay UV-SL comes across as a little shy compared to the Napa Chardonnays, slowly unfurling to reveal oyster shells, peach blossoms, honeysuckle and brine notes over a core of lemon marmalade, crème brûlée and pink grapefruit plus a touch of key lime pie. Full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring with loads of tension between the racy acid and all the taut fruit, finishing very long and very minerally. This should be very long-lived!"...
...Mark Aubert is one of the contenders for California’s finest practitioner of Burgundian-styled, yet classic, California Chardonnays. His offerings are all made like grand cru Burgundies with full malolactic, the use of French oak and lees stirring, but the purity of fruit, the textural dimensions, and the stunning singularity of these Chardonnays can only be matched by a handful of other Chardonnay producers in the world. He’s that good. Aubert’s 2012s, which I have enjoyed multiple times out of bottle since I purchased most of them, merit the scores I gave them last year."
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.
Rare Chardonnay release from Beaux-Freres owner Mike Etzel. Tiny production.
From Star Mooring vineyard (planted by Mike D. Etzel in 2014), along with a few carefully selected parcels tucked in other ideal corners of the Willamette Valley. As if directed by Leonard Bernstein, this harmonious wine delivers orchestral balance despite its youth. An Old World-esque depth of flavor and low alcohol ensure graceful aging for 7 - 10 more years. Just 268 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Meadowfoam honey and Lemon verbena aromatics are followed by bees wax and a waft of citrus flower. This is truly a nectar of sunlight across the palate, with bright, energetic freshness.
93+ Points Parker - Limited
Beringer's top Chardonnay from the Gamble Ranch vineyard. Limited.
96 Points James Suckling: "Freshly squeezed nectarines, dried jasmine, orange blossom, vanilla, peach flan, dried mangoes, jack fruit and plenty of bread dough. Full body, a very round and oily mouthfeel, expansive and commanding acidity and a long finish. Drink now or hold."
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "A different animal, the 2017 Chardonnay Private Reserve is richer and more opulent, with Montrachet-like caramelized lemon, tropical fruits, and brioche aromas and flavors. Nevertheless, it's still more elegant and vibrant than past vintages, with medium body, a layered texture, and good acidity. I love its balance and it can be drunk any time over the coming 2-4 years, although there's no need to delay gratification."
93+ Points Robert Parker : "The 2017 Chardonnay Private Reserve aged for ten months in 100% new French oak. It opens with beautiful crème brûlée and candied ginger notes over a core of pineapple and green mango with a waft of brioche. Medium-bodied, satiny and with fantastic freshness, it delivers loads of tropical layers and great length."
Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay is primarily sourced from their Gamble Ranch property in the Oakville AVA of Napa Valley. Each lot was kept separate from harvest all the way through the winemaking process. The wine was aged for 9 months in 88% new French oak with full malolactic fermentation, and the lees were stirred weekly to enrich the texture and profile. Only the finest lots were then selected for inclusion in this Private Reserve bottling. From winemaker Laurie Hook: "Aromas of hazelnut and grilled pineapple are followed by flavors of lush, tropical fruits, balanced by a hint of citrus. A rich, creamy mouthfeel is rounded out by a lengthy, elegant finish.
New limited Chardonnay release from the famed Brewer-Clifton label in Santa Barbara! The wines of Brewer-Clifton represent the essence of the best vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills area and focus on the production of single vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from carefully selected vineyards in the SRH appellation.
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of the great values out there, the 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills offers thrilling notes of white flowers, white peach, currants, and toasted bread. This ripe, sexy wine is unquestionably at the same level as the more expensive single vineyard releases, and it will evolve for just as long...This was another thrilling lineup from Greg Brewer, and I consistently rate these wines as some of the greatest in the Sta. Rita Hills, as well as all of Santa Barbara County. These are brilliant wines."
93 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): " The 2017 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is a gorgeous appellation-level wine from Brewer-Clifton. Creamy and ample, the 2017 is absolutely delicious. Tangerine, mint, lemon peel and sweet spice notes all meld together in a striking, nuanced Chardonnay that hits all the right notes. The 2017 is positively stellar. That's pretty much all there is to it."
93 Points Wine Enthusiast: "This appellation blend carries that aromatic hallmark of this winery's Chardonnays, with a streak of walnut oil that decorates the marmalade and toast tones. The palate is bright in acidity, giving energy to the flavors of walnut paste, dried orange peel and sun-dried honeysuckle. "
As readers will know, the Brewer-Clifton wines see no new oak at all. "I want all the expression and the decadence to come from the outside, so I use very old barrels and no stirring for Chardonnay," Greg explains. "Chardonnay is whole-cluster pressed, and the Pinot Noirs are whole-cluster fermented, from 70% to 100% for the single-vineyard designates. For me, stems are like a corset. We have so much fruit out here. I’ve spent 25 years working with stems as a means of framing and corseting, so we work with stems to shape and lift."
Buehler makes some of the best buys in the world of wine and their Chardonnay is no exception.
The Russian River Chardonnay displays abundant floral/ stone fruit aromas lightly accented by toasty, graham cracker sur-lie qualities. The mouthfeel is creamy and full but the natural acidity of the Russian River fruit carries this velvet-textured package to a long, clean finish.
Robert Parker: "As most readers know, you don't find Russian River Chardonnay at this price point, and winemaker David Cronin has turned out a very nice one. Crisp, elegant and fruity with delicate pear, white peach and honeysuckle, medium body and a dry finish."
A fantastic new Chardonnay discovery for fans of California's best producers. Sourced from the famed Hyde & Stagecoach Vineyards as well as Pahlmeyer's Waters Ranch this exceptional fruit driven Chardonnay was handcrafted and only 350 cases produced.
95 Points Brix26: "Explosive aromas of pineapple, creme brulee, poached pear, and honeysuckle jump from the glass of the Buoncristiani 2015 Chardonnay. Its light straw/green color is followed by apricot and pineapple aromas and flavors, good acidity, lots of body, and loads of fruit, with a beautiful balance between richness, intense fruit and crisp acidity in the long finish This gorgeous Chardonnay can be enjoyed over the next several years and more
Best Buy Under $20!
Butternut is the newest offering from Tony Leonardini, whose family owns Whitehall Lane. With premium Chardonnay from Carneros and from western Napa Valley, Tony aged this wine in 100% new French oak, imparting a buttery, nutty roundness to the flavor profile. At under $20 it totally over-delivers.
The Butternut Chardonnay is a wine that lives up to its name. It has round, creamy notes, hints of hazelnut and a finish that doesn’t want to quit. Grapes from the regions of Carneros and Coombsville in Napa and Santa Lucia and Arroyo Seco in Monterey broaden the flavor profile of Butternut. The wine spent 14 months on 110 percent new French Oak.
New release now available!
Cakebread produces one of the most popular Chardonnays from the Napa Valley - get the new release now.
The very aromatic Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley offers delightfully forward aromas of ripe pears and apples, with intriguing scents of guava and banana. On the palate, the wine boasts a full, fleshy texture and rich, ripe flavors balanced by subtle, spicy oak tones and an excellent underpinning of acidity. Delicious now, this very flavorful Napa Valley Chardonnay will gain additional bouquet and complexity with 18-24 months of further bottle age. Very limited.
Limited Reserve Chardonnay
An exclusive Reserve Chardonnay from Cakebread - Limited!
The Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay Napa Valley offers up aromas of sweet butter and oak spice, followed by waves of fresh, spiced-apple, pear and melon fruit scents. On the palate, the wine reveals a rich, mouth-filling texture with ripe, fleshy, apple-y flavors balanced by bright acidity and a refreshing minerality, with savory oak and subtle yeast tones enhancing the long, rich finish. Youthful and concentrated, with wonderful balance and depth of fruit, this superlative Napa Valley Chardonnay will continue to develop in the bottle for another 5-8 years.
California Chardonnay lovers rejoice! Chalk Hill's new release has it all.
91 Points Robert Parker: "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate opens with notes of toast, cream, lemon pith and hay over a core of Red Delicious apple and banana chips. The medium-bodied palate is rounded and creamy with toasty spice and honey notions, finishing long and lifted with juicy acidity."
92 Points Wine Spectator: "Strikes a balance between rich, spicy oak and an intense core of fruit, echoing pear, apple and melon flavors. Maintains equilibrium, ending with creamy, vanilla-scented oak notes. Drink now. "
Chalk Hill's potential for great Chardonnay was discovered early and it became one of the initial plantings. The oldest, Founder's Block dates back to the establishment of the winery, in 1972, and remains a keystone in the estate's Chardonnay program. the Estate Bottled Chardonnay is assembled from vineyard blocks that each provides an individual lot of finished wine— 100% Chardonnay, but from a variety of clonal selections— and from a variety of sites on the estate. Get the new release before the ratings come out!
Robert Parker: "This estate is now owned by William Foley, who purchased it from the Firth family that founded the vineyard. Chalk Hill is one of Northern California's older AVAs, established in 1985."
Chasseur is a small producer down the road from Kistler that is making some of California's best Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs - discover them while they are still available! Only 323 cases produced.
This is cool-climate vineyard in the Russian River that was first made famous by John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley and subsequently by Landmark Vineyards. The Chasseur 2013 Lorenzo Chardonnay displays exquisite peach, honeyed citrus, orange rind and lemon oil notes with hints of wet rock/minerality. Medium to full-bodied, with stunning concentration, texture, and length, this is a profound Chardonnay to drink over the next 5-7 years, possibly longer.
Chateau Montelena is one of California's historic wineries and consistent producer of some of the best Chardonnay in Napa Valley. Discover why Chateau Montelena Chardonnay beat the French at the Paris tasting in 1976!
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Montelena's 2017 Chardonnay is bright, focused and tightly wound, with tons of citrus peel, orchard fruit and floral character. Medium in body, with terrific energy underpinning the fruit, the 2017 is a winner. Picking early and blocking the malolactic fermentation yields a finely sculpted, nuanced Chardonnay long on class. I loved it."
Limited new Signature Chardonnay release from Darioush. Order while it's still available.
100% Chardonnay, sourced exclusively from Darioush's estate vineyards in the Napa Valley, Oak Knoll and Carneros districts, and aged for eleven months in 70% new French oak.
Tasting Notes: "Influenced by a cooler than average growing season, the Darioush Signature Chardonnay is powerful, sleek and vibrant, and was bottled unfiltered to maintain a strong sense of place and high concentration of flavor. Bright aromatics of white peach and quince entice, with layers of green apple, creamy lemon meringue, yeast and toasted wheat in the mid-palate, finishing with a pure, delicate minerality. A promising vintage that will evolve well for several years."
94 Points - fantastic buy
New Chardonnay release from Mount Eden's Domaine label.
94 Points Wine Enthusiast: "This more affordable cousin to the Mt. Eden brand is just as good, though different. It presents dairy aromas of brie cheese rind and yogurt but in a deliciously approachable way, with diced chives, caramelized pear and citronella elements. The palate shows tremendous energy, with lots of lime and lemon pith, but also a sour-cream richness."
The blend this year was 60% from Mount Eden's estate vines and 40% from Domaine Eden. The grapes were picked by hand and crushed within three hours of harvest, barrel-fermented in Burgundy barrels and aged on the lees for ten months. This wine is icy clean, vibrant and mineral in style with flavors of citrus zest, quince and spring flowers. For lovers of precision and delicacy in the expression of Chardonnay, this is it.
Domaine Serene is one of Oregon's best wineries and their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays Evenstad Reserve are the cream of the crop. Oregon Chardonnay at it's finest!
95 Points "Editor's Choice" Wine Enthusiast: "This is one of the finest Evenstad Reserves to date, bringing a stunningly good mix of tree fruits nuanced by barrel flavors of butterscotch and toasted hazelnut. It all leads into a sappy, cinnamon-inflected finish that lingers gracefully and promises to age well through 2025."
92 Points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Evenstad Reserve opens with a great streak of petrichor over fresh yellow apple and Bosc pear notes with accents of hay, crème fraîche and toast. Medium to full-bodied and creamy textured in the mouth, it gives up toasty flavors with a great core of concentrated, ripe fruit and juicy, mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and minerally."
Duckhorn's new Chardonnay has arrived!
Duckhorn's Napa Valley Chardonnay draws from premium vineyards throughout the Napa Valley to create a lush, richly fruited Chardonnay that is aged in oak for an elegantly textured, complex and toasty style. According to winemaker Renee Ary, "what I like about this wine is that it is a classic. It follows in the Duckhorn style in that is elegant, balanced, bold, and has acidity that carries through to the finish. This vintage showcases layers of white peach, nectarine, and melon followed by warm notes of nougat, creme broulee, and chai.
This lush and elegant Chardonnay offers vivid aromas of white peach, lime, melon and vanilla bean, followed by undertones of praline, fresh pie dough and pistachio gelato. On the palate, flavors of Bosc pear, honeycrisp apple and Meyer lemon are underscored by beautifully balanced oak, which lends warm nuances and layers of complexity that carry through to the long, silky finish.
DuMol make some of the best and most sought-after Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley and California. Limited single vineyard Chardonnay from the legendary Heintz Vineyard.
96 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2017 Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard offers a captivating mix of the lush, tropical notes that are typical of this site with strikin5 beams of mineral tension that add support. Rich, exotic and alluring, the 2017 is off the charts gorgeous. I usually don’t like to compare American wines to French wines, as that implies a subservient relationship that does not exist, but the best way I can explain the 2017 is that it reminds me of a great Chablis Valmur."
94 Points Robert Parker: "The 2017 Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard comes from vines planted in 1982. It was barrel fermented and aged 12 months on the lees in 300-liter Atelier hogsheads, 33% new. It features scents of ripe white peach, red apple skin, crushed stone, toast and spiced yellow apples. It's light to medium-bodied, precise and minerally in the mouth with citrus peel touches, laser acidity and a long, textured finish. 500 cases produced."
Winery Notes: "Given its cool, foggy coastal exposition, Heintz is our final Chardonnay vineyard to harvest each year. The grapes hang on the vine for an extended period, steadily building character and richness while never losing acidity; that’s what makes the vineyard so special. The wait can be nail-biting at times, especially if an early
Fall storm is approaching, but under the steady hand of Charlie Heintz, a wily
old veteran grape farmer, fruit and wine quality are never less than spectacular."
DuMOL make some of the best and most sought-after Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley and California. Limited.
94+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach comes from the Dumol estate plus fruit from Ritchie, Charles Heintz, Lorenzo and Dutton vineyards. It offers gentle scents of honey, oats, nuts and dried white flowers over a peachy core. The medium-bodied palate has an understated savory character, balancing yeasty and mineral touches and bright acidity, finishing long and mineral-driven."
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach is a blend of the Ritchie, Heintz. Lorenzo, Dutton, and DuMOL Estate vineyards and was brought up in 35% new French oak. It has a classic Russian River Valley vibe in its rich orchard fruits, pear, buttered citrus, and brioche aromas and flavors. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied wine that has the fleshy, supple style of the vintage yet stays firmly in the DuMOL stylistic camp with its vibrant acidity and focused finish. Drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years or so."
Winemaker Notes: The DuMol 2018 Wester Reach Chardonnay Russian River Valley has great lines: focused, driven, mineral-laden and pithy, with a level of cool-climate fruit intensity that is very rare. This level of quality and distinctive character is hard to achieve in a larger-production blended wine, but is a testament to our pedigreed vineyards, precise farming, twenty years’ experience, and patient, sensitive craftsmanship.
DuMol make some of the best and most sought-after Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley and California. Limited single vineyard Chardonnay from the legendary Ritchie Vineyard.
95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard is the last vintage of Ritchie Vineyard from Dumol, a vineyard designate they have made for 20 years. "The old vines are no longer economic," says Dumol winemaker Andy Smith, "so there's a replanting scheme going on." The Ritchie goes out with a bang—it's a gorgeous wine, offering youthfully shy hints of tangerine, hazelnuts, flint and honey-oat character. The palate is medium-bodied, silky, concentrated and expansive with dynamic acidity to lift the rich fruit, lingering in the mouth for a very long finish. It will benefit from another three to five years in bottle and should be very long lived. Wow! 750 cases produced."
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie Vineyard offers a beguiling interplay of rich, dense fruit and super-expressive aromatics that make for a complete and deeply satisfying wine from this highly regarded site."
Winery Notes: "Our seventeenth consecutive bottling from the majestic old vines of Ritchie Vineyard is among the most memorable, as one would expect given the
incredible quality of this magical vintage. The wine walks a delicate line between
power and finesse, opulence and focus, offering a deep succulence that is typical
of this heralded vineyard, farmed with great dedication and pride by the local
legend that is Kent Ritchie himself....It’s our most “California-styled” Chardonnay each year: forward, generous and broad. Sheer deliciousness is its calling card. That’s not to say it’s overblown,however, as the loose-textured, airy, volcanic white pumice stone soils bring great vibrancy and energy to the wine’s long, expansive finish."
95 Points - Limited
New release of one of our favorite Russian River Chardonnays!
95 Points Wine Enthusiast: "Rued Ranch consistently is the winery's top bottling. Like its predecessors, is modest in alcohol but vast in citrus, tropical fruit, honeysuckle and mineral flavors, and enriched with smoky oak and buttery notes. It has a delicate mouthfeel that makes it a joy to savor." Only 571 cases produced.
96 points/Gold ~ North Coast Wine Competition
Warren Dutton planted this Chardonnay vineyard on an east-facing hillside west of the town of Graton in 1969. The clone planted in the vineyard, which produces exceptionally exotic, highly identifiable fruit, has since been propagated across California and is now referred to as the "Rued Clone." This vineyard's old vines produce clusters with tiny golden translucent berries with incredibly enticing flavors, floral aromatics and tropical freshness.
Jon and Lily Berlin are the stewards of this very old Napa winery, and the Chardonnay they produce on the north end of St. Helena, from the Star Vineyard in Rutherford, is simply one of the very best in the Napa Valley. Absolutely delectable!
El Molino was established back in 1871. The winery, along with the historic label, was resurrected in 1981 by Reg Oliver who focused on incomparable Chardonnay and distinctive Pinot from an appellation admittedly more famed for Cabernet Sauvignon. He left a legacy of environmental stewardship and enthusiasm for Burgundy varietals that has not been lost on his daughter Lily and her husband, Jon Berlin (Jon & Lily pictured top right). Lilly moved to the winery with the family when she was nine, and since child labor was never frowned upon, there was a lot to be learned by the age-old tradition of apprenticeship under her father. Lily uses these time-honored techniques to fashion a Chardonnay of impeccable balance that can age for decades!
New Chardonnay release from the private label of Ehren Jordan, Turley's longtime winemaker. Limited.
The final blend of Failla's Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is composed of fruit from Keefer Ranch and the Floodgate Vineyard. The young vine block from the cooler Keefer Ranch site gives the wine blend verve and freshness while the Floodgate Vineyard adds depth and richness. Both vineyards are planted from the Dijon Clone 95 the "Old Wente" selection, which makes some of California's best Chardonnays. It posseses a layered texture accenting the wines natural fruit, minerality and floral character. A small-production gem to snap up while its available.
$ 64.99 $ 70.00
Far Niente makes one of Napa Valley's classic Chardonnays - limited.
The Far Niente 2018 Estate Chardonnay Napa Valley offers up a bevy of aromas of melon, hazelnut, citrus, fig and spice are complimented by toasty notes in the nose. The palate offers a full entry with floral notes that lead through layers of fruit that give structure and complexity. The length and balance are impressive as they lead to a mouth watering finish.
Far Niente Chardonnay is a careful blend of estate vineyards that grow in the cooler southern areas of the Napa Valley. Once winemaker Stephanie Putnam determined when to pick each block, the grapes were hand picked, sorted, pressed and then the juice was settled. Fermentation in french oak barrels usually lasts about three weeks and then the wine is aged on its yeast for another 8-9 months before the final blend is determined.
Rare opportunity to try one of California's finest and highest-rated Chardonnays from Fisher's Mountain Estate Vineyard. Only 825 cases produced - hurry!
93 Points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Mountain Estate Vineyard is quite a bit fresher and more vibrant than the 2010 tasted alongside it. Lemon, white flowers and pastry all come to life. Hints of white pepper and nectarine add elements of exoticism that are highly attractive, while saline notes add lift, brightness and focus. The 2011 hadn’t quite finished its malolactic fermentation at the time of this tasting. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019."
Brand new release of Flowers's highly sought-after Chardonnay! Limited time only.
This Flowers 2017 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a blend of several of Flower's Sonoma Coast vineyards, including Camp Meeting Ridge. Showing balanced depth and complexity, light straw to golden color, aromas unfold with layers of lemon peel, green apple, orange blossom and wet stone minerality. This vintage shows weighted richness on the palate, a supple texture, long clean finish with fresh and bright acidity. Showing very well now and will continue to gain complexity for 1 - 3 years.
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.
New Frank Family 2017 Reserve Chardonnay from the Lewis Vineyard in Napa Valley's Carneros now available!
The Frank Family Lewis Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay is a captivating wine layered with aromas reminiscent of stone fruit, apple tart and floral notes. Subtle aromas of roasted pecans and caramel toffee bond with the fruit flavors in a beautifully elegant manner. The palate is luscious and round, balanced by a fresh crisp minerality that provides a lasting impression.
The New Frank Family Chardonnay now available! Limited
Named Winery of the Year from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine! The new Frank Family 2018 Chardonnay is sourced from the Carneros, in the southern Napa Valley, and displays its signature volume and length, with ripe peachy and tropical citrus fruit aromas and flavors, a lush and creamy mid-palate, and layers of toasty oak spice. A Napa Valley classic.
If you like Rombauer Chardonnay, try this!
The best under $25 California Chardonnay we've discovered this year! A beautiful Russian River Valley Chardonnay that's a true steal while it lasts.
The Girard Chardonnay Russian River Valley is another clean, slightly crisp Chardonnay. Special malolactic fermentation techniques provide a soft, round palate without the buttery influence found in many California Chardonnays. You'll find this to be a great food wine that is also very enjoyable on its own. The majority of Chardonnay grapes come from the Dutton Ranch vineyard.
Grgich Hills has always been known for its outstanding Chardonnay, and the new Estate Chardonnay Napa Valley only bolsters that reputation.
Grgich Hills Chardonnay is estate grown, meaning they control everything from the vineyard to the bottle. The grapes were grown organically at their American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, where the coolness allows the grapes to develop complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity. They do not allow the Chardonnay to undergo malolactic fermentation. This preserves the wine's crispness and acidity to balance its concentrated fruit. The full-bodied, elegant Grgich Hills Chardonnay has fresh aromas of acacia and citrus flowers, honey and a touch of mineral.
New release of a classic California Chardonnay from Groth!
Long, cool fermentation in a mixture of old and new barrels gives the Groth 2018 Chardonnay layers of fruitiness and complexity that result in a wine that is very enjoyable when young or after several years of bottle age. This method of fermentation, in conjunction with whole cluster pressing and "sur lie" aging add layers of toastiness and creaminess to the wine. Together these components meld together harmoniously to create a balanced wine that is both lively and rich in aroma and flavor."
A fantastic new Chardonnay from Hestan by winemaker Thomas Brown (Shrader, Outpost)
Hestan's first wine produced by esteemed Napa Valley winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, the Hestan Chardonnay boasts an impeccable balance of flavor and structure. Bright fruit flavors with a round, full mouthfeel, the wine offers depth and a long, elegant finish. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Tremendous richness with a whopping 14.1% Alcohol yet so balanced that you hardly feel the sheer weight of it from start to end with its long lingering finish. Barrel fermented in French oak barrels. Planted in 1997, this vineyard is located 300 yards from the San Francisco Bay, at the very southern end of Highway 29, which runs north and south through Napa Valley. A tiny 350 cases were produced so hurry!
Lee Hudson's vineyard in Napa Valley's Carneros region has come to be synonymous with some of the best winegrapes grown in California, going into some of the State's top Chardonnays (Kistler, Kongsgaard, Patz & Hall, Ramey). His own wine is fantastic but super-limited production. Grab some today before this delicious vintage slips away.
93 Points Wine Spectator: "Big and rich, featuring a plush texture to the concentrated pear tart, apple pastry and dried apricot flavors. Viscous midpalate, with savory snap to the finish, which delivers minerally and toasty notes. Drink now through 2025."
previous vintage 96+ Points Robert Parker: "Produced from the “Shot Wente” heritage selection clone and all naturally fermented in French oak, 85% new, where it was aged for 12 months, the Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard reveals intense grapefruit, pineapple and honeysuckle notes with hints of brioche, ginger and shaved almonds. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is bursting with spicy, tropical fruit flavors, framed by plenty of freshness and a satiny texture, finishing with great length and depth...This famous vineyard in Carneros was first started by the Hudson family in 1981. These are some of the strongest wines I have yet tasted from them, thanks to winemaker Christopher Vandendriessche and consultant John Kongsgaard."
A phenomenal buy in California Chardonnay!
One of the fastest selling Chardonnays we have ever carried. This wine always sells out waaaay before the next vintage is released. If you have purchased Butter Chardonnay in the past, stock up while you can. Made by winemaker Rob Lloyd of Romabuer fame, this delivers on it promise of a rich, tropical fruit and buttery palate with a creamy texture and lots of toasty vanilla oak spice.
Owners John and Michelle (JaM) Truchard have created quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. With the name of their wine label being called JaM, they employed the help of winemaker Rob Lloyd (who spent 8 years at Rombauer) to produce a rich, jammy style of Cabernet. Well, that wine was a huge hit, and since Rob knew a thing or two about making Chardonnays, it only made sense that this white wine should be called "Butter". As the name implies, this is a rich, buttery style of Chardonnay laced with aromas of baked lemons and mandarin oranges mingle with a hint of spice and smoke. The palate begins with crisp pineapple, bright citrus and ripe melon while a soft creaminess rounds out the finish. This Chardonnay is ready for immediate enjoyment and is suited to a wide variety of foods including white fish, smoked salmon and creamy pasta dishes.
We're always on the lookout for fantastic Napa Chardonnays that sell for a song, and the Jax Y3 Chardonnay is one of the best we've found. Highly recommended.
Robert Parker: "An outstanding value is the Chardonnay Y3, which offers copious tropical fruit, orange blossom, and nectarine scents and flavors along with fresh acids and an endearing purity as well as texture. A sleeper of the vintage, it should drink nicely for several years."
Sourced from Atlas Peak and Oak Knoll district, the Y3 Chardonnay is fresh and floral with a light creamy accent. A melange of delicate pear, golden apple are underlied by a light vanilla oak. Complex and balanced with light malolactic fermentation.
New release of Jordan's classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay now available!
The bouquet offers delicate aromas of Fuji apple, citrus, nutmeg, honey, and lightly toasted oak. The Jordan 2017 Chardonnay delivers lively and complex flavors of Asian pear, key lime, and Marcona almond. These refined notes offer a seamless expression of rich, bold flavors with a long, elegant finish. This wine is delicious now and will continue to gain honeyed richness with an additional 3 to 5 years of aging. Serve between 55 and 60 degrees to ensure the full flavor development.
95 Points - new release
Fantastic new Sonoma Coast Chardonnay release from the legendary Joseph Phelps.
95 Points Wine Enthusiast *Editor's Choice*: "This 100% varietal wine from the cooler outpost of Freestone is so deliciously crisp, bright in minerally lemon and fresh pear. It lingers on the palate in complex ways, elusive one moment, then exuberant the next - a celebration of ideal vintage and place."
95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard, aged 13 months in 41% new French oak, takes its time on the nose, slowly opening to notes of saline, crushed nuts, lemon peel and quince. The palate is medium-bodied, juicy and very silky, its citrusy fruits opening to savory hints underneath, and it finishes very long and nuanced. Give it another couple years in bottle to gain in amplitude. "
...Joseph Phelps has a whopping 102 acres on the Sonoma Coast called the Freestone Vineyard, 82 acres of which is planted in Pinot Noir and the balance Chardonnay. The interesting thing about this site is the bud break can occur as early as February, and the hang time often exceeds the European model of “100 days,” often lasting as long as 120 to140+ days. All of the wines that follow, even in a great vintage such as 2012, rarely exceed 14.2% alcohol, with most coming in under 14%. Their flavor intensity and richness make them fascinating, and I suspect this relatively new operation will get better and better as the vines age, and the Phelps team in Napa continues to fine tune the vineyards and the winemaking."
Limited new Chardonnay from the owners of the legenday Kanzler Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.
Kanzler Vineyard’s 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay has a bouquet anchored by fig and nectarine with nuances of crème brûlée, papaya and cinnamon. Neither lean nor voluptuous on the palate, the wine strikes a deft balance with a silky texture and notes of peach, apricot and a kiss of toasty French oak on the mid-palate transitioning to citrus fruits as the wine glides along to finish with a soft and creamy acid backbone and pleasing flint and river stone minerality. Only 286 cases produced.
Great new Chardonnay release from Keenan! One of our favorite wineries on Napa's Spring Mountain.
91 Jeb Dunnuck: "Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay, which is all from Spring Mountain, it offers a pretty bouquet of bright citrus, tangerine, and orange blossom to go with a medium-bodied, racy style on the palate. With plenty of acidity, good ripeness of fruit, and a great finish, it's going to keep for a solid 7-8 years."
Keenan's 2018 Chardonnay was hand harvested, de-stemmed, then gently pressed. The juice was fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels. The wine was left on the lees and the barrels were stirred weekly. No secondary, or malolactic fermentation was carried out, leading to the crisp, citrus character of this wine. The wine was bottled after approximately seven months of aging in the cellar. The finished wine shows citrus, ripe pear and green apple in the nose. Hints of lush white peach are noticed as the wine opens up. The sur-lie aging has added richness and complexity, and a touch of toasty oak returns on the finish. Like all of Keenan’s wines, this Chardonnay is a food worthy wine whose crisp acidity and medium body will accompany a wide variety of food fare.
The rare Reserve version of Kendall-Jackson's bestselling Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay. Limited.
Handcrafted from the top 5% of all the Kendall-Jackson lots, a delicious blend of Monterey and Santa Barbara fruit. Sur lie aged with lees stirred twice monthly to integrate fruit and oak and promote a creamy mouthfeel.