Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced. The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France to New World wines with oak, and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates (such as Chablis and the Sonoma Coast AVA of California), Chardonnay tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple and pear. In warmer locations (such as the Adelaide Hills and Mornington Peninsula in Australia and Gisborne and Marlborough region of New Zealand) the flavors become more citrus, peach and melon while in very warm locations (such as the Napa Valley AVA of California) more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation tend to have softer acidity and fruit flavors with buttery mouthfeel and hazelnut notes.
- Item #: i_210160Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is scented of ripe Bosc pears, fresh apple slices and nutmeg with hints of peach kernels, lightly browned toast and struck flint. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers plenty of apple and pear goodness, with a satiny texture and lively line, finishing creamy."
- Item #: i_223550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay FRV Fort Ross Vineyard is a beauty. Clean, classic, and medium-bodied, with good acidity as well as notes of buttered orchard fruits and spice, it has plenty of fruit, good balance, and a classic Chardonnay profile."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard gives up notions of warm applesauce, poached pears and honey toast with a waft of lemon peel. The palate is medium-bodied with appealing freshness and plenty of spicy stone fruit and apple flavors, finishing on a honey-nut note. 508 cases produced."
- Item #: i_228340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 92ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2006 Chardonnay (4,600+ cases) was 80% tank-fermented with no malolatic, and 33% spent 18 months in barrel. It possesses lovely white peach, pear, and crushed rock characteristics, full body, splendid acidity as well as purity, and a gracious integration of subtle oak. This beautiful white can be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Flinty, with a tight beam of mineral, white peach, nectarine, green apple and lime flavors that are concentrated, keeping the focus on the vibrant fruit. Drink now through 2014. 3,253 cases made."
- Item #: i_245230Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93This is the personal label of Luc Morlet and his wife Jodie. From 1996-2000 Luc made the wines at Newton, where he helped to craft their Unfiltered Chardonnay, a favorite among collectors. He then became the head winemaker for Peter Michael Winery and crafted their wines from the 2001-2005 vintages, where his wines earned up to 99 points!
Located on the Sonoma Coast, on the second ridge from the ocean, this unique hillside vineyard benefits from both the cool maritime breeze and the mild and sunny mountain climate, creating ideal conditions for the Chardonnay. Handcrafted by classical Burgundian techniques, this wine is dedicated to Luc's wife, Jodie Morlet. It is "My Sweet" or "Ma Douce."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2014 vintage, a drought year with abundant yields, rendered some beautiful Chardonnays from Morlet. The 2014 Chardonnay Ma Douce has considerable structure, a floral nose with loads of lemon custard, poached pear, subtle toast and a hint of white peach. It certainly has the structure to evolve for a decade or more. This seemed more closed than when I tasted it from barrel last year."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Chardonnay Ma Douce is bright, nuanced, with an intriguing interplay of intense pineapple notes and a distinct, salty note that perks up the flavors. The 2014 is quite reticent and tightly wound at this stage."
- Item #: i_230460Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard sports vivacious tropical fruit notes of warm pineapple, green guava and mango with touches of baker's yeast, cashew paste, pie crust and ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals a cornucopia of tropical fruit flavors, restrained by plenty of savory accents and finishing with great freshness and depth. 474 cases were made."
- Item #: i_266500Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95This is not the first time that Stonestreet Chardonnay has been on our Top North American White wine list, but when we tasted the Upper Barn bottling at the winery, the group was pretty unanimous that we had to get our hands on every bottle we could and put it on our list! Stonestreet’s vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing. With the soils being rich in iron, warm days, and cooling nights, Lisa produces Chardonnay of exceptional concentration, purity and depth. The majority of this bottling is produced from the Hyde-Wente clone of Chardonnay, which, in our opinion, produces the more complex and nuanced Chardonnays on the market today!
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard opens with lovely grapefruit, fresh pears and apple pie notes with touches of croissant and toasted almonds plus a waft of brine. Medium-bodied, very elegant and very refreshing, the palate and a wonderfully mineral character and long, beautifully nuanced finish. 1,025 cases were made."