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_238960Bottle Size: 750mlSteve MacRostie started making Chardonnay under his own label in 1987, and MacRostie Chardonnay has been a staple at Hi-Time for nearly as long. Steve and his team noticed over the years that their best lots of Chardonnay were coming from the Sonoma side of Carneros. As their own "Wildcat Mountain" vineyard began to mature and yield enough fruit for wine production, their preferences were truly confirmed. In addition to their estate vineyards, MacRostie works with other family farmers who share the passion for quality grape growing, with a focus on sustainability. In fact, in May of 2012 MacRostie Winery earned the Certified California sustainable Winegrowing designation!
The grapes for this Chardonnay came from several exceptional Sonoma Coast vineyards, and the list almost reads like a "who's who" of the region. Sangiacomo and Hi Vista vineyards are located in the Carneros region, and MacRostie's talented winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen also works with some amazing Russian River Valley properties, including vineyards owned by the renowned Dutton and Martinelli families. Another key vineyard in this wine is Steve MacRostie's own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, which is situated high up in the volcanic hills of the Petaluma Gap region. Selected for their cool climates and unique growing conditions, these vineyards lend distinct and complex characteristics to their Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
- Item #: i_238950Bottle Size: 375ML**Please note, this is a half sized bottleThe wine is pale straw gold in color, with bright lavender, wet stone and citrus aromas, with a touch of creamy custard. In the mouth it is elegant and full, with crisp apple and ripe pear flavors, plus a touch of vanilla caramel from the oak. The finish is soft and smooth, very dry, but leaves lingering lush primary fruit flavors.
- Item #: i_266770Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS - "What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California's greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California."
"The 2012 Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard, which comes primarily from the Calera clone (although I suspect there are a few mystery clones in their plantings), always seems to remind me of a grand cru from Burgundy's Cote de Nuits, particularly Morey-St.-Denis. Dense ruby/plum, its sweet nose of strawberries, black cherry liqueur, fresh porcini mushrooms and forest floor is followed by a dark, full-bodied, rich and concentrated wine that is supple, dramatic, and even flamboyant. Drink it over the next 12-15 years."
- Item #: i_240520Bottle Size: 750mlAged for 9 months in French oak, this wine exhibits aromas of golden delicious apple crisp, Meyer lemon blossom, grilled white nectarine, candied pineapple, roasted almonds and warm panettone. Hints of smoke commingle with honeysuckle. With an unctuous and tentacled texture, it has a savory, rich mouthfeel with cascading acidity.
- 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_248670Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsOlema wine is a small collection put out by Amici Cellars; a winery known for their high scoring Napa wines. This particular Chardonnay is sourced mainly from the Russian River Valley with 10% coming from the Sonoma Coast. There is a combination of stainless steel and oak aged Chardonnay blended harmoniously together producing a wine of beautiful balance. Over all this wine is on the crisper end of the spectrum with nice minerality. On the palate it showcases classic green apple notes along with some citrusy tones, stone fruits and hints of saline. This wine making team did an awesome job producing such a great overachiever in this price range.
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The value-priced 2017 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast way over-delivers and has classic Sonoma Coast character, yet it sells for a song. Lots of tart peach, crushed citrus, and some obvious salinity all emerge from this medium-bodied, vibrant, fresh Chardonnay that's ideal for a house white."
JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS - "A very pretty white with sliced apples and peaches on the nose and palate. Medium body. Bright and beautiful. Bright acidity. Delicious vivacity. Clean. Drink now."
- Item #: i_275530Bottle Size: 750mlOutlot's vineyards are planted to a range of clones, from the famed perfumed Dijon Clones, to the fleshy clone L7, to the tropical clone 4. Through small lot fermentation they enhance the distinction of each clone, then blend in proportions that bring the best of each to the resulting wine.
Fermented in oak barrels and with a light golden yellow in color, the Outlot Chardonnay has a nose reminiscent of warm apple pie with hints of cardamom, toffee and acacia blossoms. The luscious, creamy entry on the palate leads to waves of honeycomb, honeycrisp apple, peach, and a touch of apricot, finishing with rich butterscotch flavors and a kiss of vanilla. A truly handsome wine.
- Item #: i_249865Bottle Size: 750MLThis wine embodies the rich diversity of world-class vineyards in the acclaimed Sonoma Coast appellation, and the talents of the gifted winegrowers who farm these sites. Combining fruit from a "who's who" of the appellation's most renowned vineyards, this cuvee includes Sanchietti Vineyard, Gap's Crown Vineyard, Zio Tony Ranch, Dutton Ranch, and Durrell Vineyard. On the nose, aromas of dried orange peel, roasted almond, lemon sugar cookie and green apple are nicely supported by spicy French oak shadings. The mouthfeel is crisp and juicy with cascading, mouthwatering flavors of spicy pear, lime zest, yeast and toffee. The finish is long and focused by crisp acidity leading to lingering flavors that keep pumping.
- 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_230420Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard charges forth with notes of spiced apples, pear tart and brioche with touches of butterscotch, lime blossoms and coriander seed plus a waft of mandarin peel. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is still very tightly wound, with a compelling backbone of freshness cutting through the intense citrus and savory layers, finishing long and mineral laced. 597 cases produced, to be released in March 2019."
- Item #: i_277084Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95-97Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "Flirting with perfection, the 2017 Chardonnay Belle-Cote is a thrilling, magical Chardonnay that ranks with the creme de la creme of the vintage. A huge nose of crushed rocks, lemon curd, brioche, and toast all flow to a full Chardonnay that has a deep, concentrated, layered style on the palate. It's one of those rich and powerful yet weightless wines, and it has terrific acidity, purity of fruit, and length. It will be better with another year or two of bottle age."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS - "A barrel sample (Rued clone and Old Wente), the 2017 Chardonnay Belle Cote has a simply gorgeous perfume of honeysuckle, spiced peaches, lychees and roses with touches of lime blossoms, mandarin peel and beeswax plus a hint of croissant. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rich, bold and seductive in the mouth with many aromatic layers and an epically long, vibrant finish. 2,320 cases are expected to be produced, to be released in February 2019."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Belle-Côte emerges from the oldest vines on the property, planted in 1990, and is a mix of three clones: See, Wente and Rued. The Belle- Côte is distinguished in this range by its powerful, phenolic personality and overall density. The 2017 is a big wine that needs time in the cellar to be at its best."
- Item #: i_252770Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Starting with the appellation 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, this is a terrific, classic effort that's a great introduction into the style of the estate. Citrus blossom, honeysuckle, white flowers, and marzipan notes flow to a medium-bodied, fresh, elegant Chardonnay that still has depth, intensity, and length."
- Item #: i_277680Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard is racy and alluring from the very first taste. Orange peel, mint, chamomile, dried flowers and buttery notes infuse this sumptuous, oily Chardonnay. The Platt is one of the more overt wines in this range. All of the elements simply fall into place effortlessly. A final note of botrytis-tinged nuance adds to the wine's immeasurable appeal."
- Item #: i_257980Bottle Size: 750MLBold, rich and spicy, with a juicy core of melon, fig, green apple and citrus flavors, shaded by light spicy oak. A poised style of Chardonnay that exhibits a custard-like texture while having an incredible drinkability. This wine is a sure crowd-pleaser.
- Item #: i_258430Bottle Size: 750MLThe Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is produced with minimal use of new oak, to allow the bright varietal character to shine through. It was harvested from select vineyards located in the Sonoma Coast appellation, including the cooler microclimates of western Carneros, southern Sonoma Valley and the Petaluma Gap. It has a spicy apple aroma with hints of nutmeg and cream. Silky textured, it has delicate flavors of fresh fennel, pear and ripe apple.
- Item #: i_276210Bottle Size: 750mlSourced from vineyards that are sustainable or organic, Smoke Tree Chardonnay is anything but typical for California; with elegance and balance, it unites stone fruit and white flower aromatics, flavors of citrus and granny smith apple, and a finish that lingers with acidity and minerality.
- Item #: i_262440Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage is loaded with aromas of lemon and lime, and accented with hints of Bosc pear, caramel, oak spice and the familiar, flinty, mineral notes that are a defining characteristic of the Les Pierres Vineyard. The citrus flavors of grapefruit and lime are complemented and balanced with toasty, caramelized oak, and spice. The careful approach to oak aging and fermentation creates a round, full mouthfeel with Sonoma-Cutrer's signature bright and lively citrus-laced acidity and a long, lingering finish of nice barrel spice.
- Item #: i_262500Bottle Size: 750MLFruit aromas of Golden Delicious apple, Bosc pear and white peach are accented with oak spice, a hint of vanilla, toasted nuts, a light floral note and a touch of butterscotch. This wine has the signature Sonoma-Cutrer balance between elegance and richness for a medium-bodied, mouth-filling wine. The creamy richness is balanced with a bright acidity and highlighted with flavors of apple, pear and lemon zest. There is a long finish highlighted with notes of toasted almonds and barrel spice.
- 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."
- Item #: i_280120Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine is a beautiful pale gold in color tinged with a green hue. The nose gives expansive aromas of pineapple cake, toasted hazelnut, and delicate white flowers. The palate offers up tropical fruit and crème brulee flavors with bright acidity, balanced by a creamy mid-palate texture that is decadent and round. The finish is bright, with a flinty minerality.