- Item #: i_252860Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "One of my favorite releases from Ramey, the 2016 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."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "This is the second vintage of a Rochioli vineyard-designate Chardonnay made by Ramey. Grapes were sourced from vines planted between 1989 and 2005 and were fermented in barrel with batonnage, then aged in 21% new French oak for 20 months. The nose of the 2016 Chardonnay Rochioli Vineyard opens with Meyer lemon, pulverized stone, lime peel and soft white flowers with touches of nuts and cream. Medium to full-bodied, it offers wonderful savory flavor layers of honeycomb and hazelnut with a gorgeous velvety texture and great length plus lots of mineral sparks coming through on the finish. 901 cases were produced, which will be released in June of 2019."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Rochioli Vineyard is powerful and dense in its first impression. It is also one of the more phenolic, structured Chardonnays in the range. There is a real sense of weight and textural resonance that runs through the fruit. Hints of lemon confit, dried flowers and dried pear meld into the creamy, layered finish."
- Item #: i_276010Bottle Size: 750mlWhen the mercury starts its annual climb we know it's time for a wine just like this Shannon Ridge "High Elevation" Chardonnay. We need something refreshing and lively, not too heavy, loaded with flavor and easy on the wallet. This one has it all! We tried this a few months ago and were impressed with its across-the-board credentials. First, it's delicious. Second, the winery utilizes sustainable practices (including a flock of sheep that cleans the vineyards, removes the excess canopy, and reduces the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer). Third, it drinks way over its price niveau, giving Chardonnay and white wine lovers a ton of "bang for the buck" (while synthesizing multiple elements found in the Chardonnay spectrum to create a greater whole). And with summer icumen in, this is what we'll be sipping on the porch, by the pool, on the boat or beach.
The High Elevation Collection is a careful blend of three appellations within Lake County. The clusters from High Valley bring citrus and acidity, the Red Hills Appellation contributes lush fruit and ripe characteristics, and Big Valley grapes add grassiness and mineral tones to these lively wines. The ABV is 13.8% and the wine sees 6 months in a mix of French and American oak.
The nose is luscious and rich with hints of Golden Delicious apple, creme fraiche, vanilla and coconut with background notes of cedar, oak and a slight citrus zest. The palate reveals mixed tropical fruits, from pineapple to plantain, all enwrapped in a medium body that is both rich yet lively with enough acidity to keep it aloft and refreshing. Light brown spices and toasty touches lead to a lengthy finish of sweet fruit and a touch of cream and minerality. You may have seen any number of wine memes across your social media account utilizing this quote from Galileo Galilei: "Wine is sunlight, held together by water." This Chard, with its panoply of scents, flavors and texture, is a hella good bottle to put next to it.
- 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_275500Bottle Size: 750mlThe Freedom Hill Dijon clone Chardonnays are Meursault-like: darker fruit with a stony minerality and rich textures in the mouth. Winemaker Mark Vlossak struggled with the specific style for Freedom Hill Chardonnay until his visit to Burgundy and Chablis in 2003. There he tasted a grand cru Chablis fermented entirely in used barrels. St. Innocent's Chardonnay is now fermented in the same manner. Mark finally feels that he has captured the terroir of Freedom Hill . After settling, pure juice (no SO2) was barrel fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wine finished malolactic fermentation (wild) and was aged sur lees for eleven months entirely in used French oak barrels. It is unfined and lightly filtered before bottling.
This Chardonnay has seductive aromas of yellow peach, mango and peach preserves with hints of cinnamon stick and white pepper. Embracing your entire pallet with bright yellow fruit, fresh acidity, and Buttercup. This wine has a racy richness clearly differentiating it from "normal" Chardonnays. Impeccably balanced with the warmer fruit and floral notes persisting long into the finish. It would be a great match for fish tacos with mango salsa, grilled tuna pasta or pizza margherita. As lovely as it is now, it can be enjoyed over the next 8 years.
- Item #: i_265410Bottle Size: 750MLSteele's Chardonnay Cuvee consistently exhibits excellent depth of flavor, wonderful acidity and complex aromas. The Santa Maria vineyards add a tropical fruit character to the wine, flavors and aroma of mango, pineapple, and papaya. The Sonoma vineyards attribute citrus character and acid to the cuvee. The Mendocino vineyard flavor profile leans toward citrus fruit, baked apples and cinnamon.
- Item #: i_266260Bottle Size: 750mlBalanced and complex, the 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay layers fruit from several vineyards in the AVA, marrying the lush, bold ripeness of mid-valley with the richness and depth of Carneros. Bright, golden fruit opens the nose, rounded with notes of honey, caramel, baking spice and toast. A bold entry of lemons and ripe apple develops weight and viscosity as it evolves through the mouth. The barrel contribution leaves an almost-sweet almond impression across the finish. Displaying true Napa style, this well-poised wine is perfect for all occasions and will pair with a variety of foods.
- Item #: i_266470Bottle Size: 750mlStoller's Reserve Chardonnay is a blend of their oldest Dijon vines on the property, which were planted in 1995. Whole cluster pressed to mitigate phenolics, this wine was barrel fermented. This wine aged in French oak for 11-months before spending another 6-months in stainless steel. Expressing aromatics of lemon curd, brioche and flint, the palate meets the nose with a citrus vibrancy and reveals a luxurious mouthfeel due to extended lees contact and balanced use of oak.
- Item #: i_266550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard comes from the oldest vines on the estate, planted in 1982. Fermented in barrel and aged for 11 months in 47% new French oak, it is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal pink grapefruit, white peaches and Granny Smith apples with nuances of honeysuckle, lemon tart and praline. Medium to full-bodied, it explodes in the mouth with citrus and savory layers, with a gorgeous silkiness and loads of ginger and mineral sparks coming through on the finish. Wow! 813 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"More tropical mango and pineapple notes define the 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which is fresh, lively, and pretty on the palate. Both Chardonnays here have a terrific salinity, impeccable balance, and a great finish. This estate is from Wente and from vines planted in the 1980s. It's a seamless, elegant, structured, rocking Chardonnay that's going to age."
- Item #: i_266510Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsStonestreet Estate 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 us a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing. Of the 5,100 acres that make up the Estate, only 900 are planted to grapes (235 individual vineyard blocks) while the remaining land retains its natural biodiversity and abounds with streambeds and ancient oaks, providing a habitat to cougars, owls and black bears.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is a terrific introduction to the Stonestreet Chardonnays. Citrus, apricot, mint and a dash of new oak add nuance to this finely cut mountain Chardonnay. The Estate Chardonnay is another wine that delivers serious quality for the money. Silky and textured, the 2016 hits all the right notes. What a gorgeous wine it is."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is another wine sourced from higher elevation sites and was barrel fermented and aged. It offers a classic style in its baked apples, spice, honeycomb, and marzipan profile. Deep, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and textured, it's a class act and should keep for 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_269100Bottle Size: 750MLProprietors Timm and Sharon Crull have quite a special piece of land in Rutherford. Not only are they virtually across the street from Quintessa and next door to Heitz, they also sell their Cabernet to such prestigious wineries as Nickel & Nickel and Duckhorn. While we have been touting their reds for some time, they also have a refreshing white.
The property at The Terraces is more conducive to red grapes, so Timm and Sharon went "down the road" to Trefethen to find fantastic Chardonnay grapes. This southern valley floor vineyard has deep alluvial soils and warm temperatures, allowing the grapes to develop ripe stone fruit and pineapple aromas. This is a cleaner style; all tank fermented, no malolactic, and aged sur lie in neutral oak barrels for 6 months.
With a beautiful light straw hue and aromas of pineapple, guava, baked green apple and a hint of sweet woody vanilla the 2016 Chardonnay is sure to please. The palate has inviting characteristics of tropical fruit, crispy asian pear and bright green apple acidity. The vibrant mouthfeel showcases surprising weight and richness and a lively finish. Drink now or cellar for 8-10 years.
- Item #: i_268290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate spent 11 months in 38% new French oak. It has an open nose of ripe peach, apricot, toast, gunflint and pie crust with dried chamomile and honey-drizzled apple slices. Medium-bodied, it offers concentrated stone fruit and honey-nut character in the mouth, with seamless acidity and a long, textured finish. 1,100 cases produced."
- Item #: i_274660Bottle Size: 750mlA very pale-golden color, tinted with green, announces this wine. The fruit aromas are of lemon and apple. The spice aromatics are toward cinnamon and cedar. There’s a bit of honeycomb as well as a smoked almond note. The minerality is present, but subdued. The palate is soft and pure silk.
- Item #: i_274770Bottle Size: 750MLThis is their famous Trinitas "Butterscotch Bomb"; a perfect marriage of high-quality fruit and American wood barrels. The toast on the barrels is prominent, giving a "creme Brule" character to the nose. Underneath the toast, you get the intense tropical fruit - pear, peach, lemon zest and citrus. The rich mid-palate, explodes with cinnamon toast, cream and butterscotch – which is a contribution to the length of time spent in the Oak Barrels. In its own way, it's as bold and expressive as a Cabernet. It's got so much presence it can easily pass as an aperitif or carefully matched with food just as rich - perhaps pounded veal cutlets, an Italian risotto, or plump-cooked chicken breasts in a cream sauce.
- Item #: i_228310Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Stephen Hansel is one of the most intelligent winery owners in Sonoma. More interested in getting people to drink his wines than in maximizing short-term profit, Hansel continues to offer some of the very best wines readers will find for the money."
"The 2013 Chardonnay Cahill Lane is another beautiful, precise wine loaded with class and personality. As is the case in this vintage, the flavors are bright, but there is plenty of the signature Hansel texture underpinning the fruit. Lemon, pastry and brioche are some of the notes that meld into the racy, beautifully textured finish."
ROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS - "The 2013 Chardonnay Cahill Lane, made from the Old Wente clone, comes from one of the higher yielding parcels in the Hansel vineyards (3.5 tons of fruit per acre in 2013). It sees 40% new Francois Freres oak. The nose offers up notes of caramelized citrus, orange blossom, honeysuckle, poached pear and peach in its refreshing, medium to full-bodied personality. Drink this beauty over the next 5-6 years."
- Item #: i_276650Bottle Size: 750mlEnjoy flavors and aromas of lemon curd, green apple, tangy pineapple and baked brioche. Spicy overtones reminiscent of clove, nutmeg and a kiss of vanilla add complexity. Forward fruit on the entry with richness and a slight creaminess on the mid-palate and fresh, lingering fruit flavors and mouthwatering acidity in the finish.
- Item #: i_295770Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsZotovich Cellars is a family owned and operated boutique winery located in coastal Lompoc, California. Winemaker, Ryan Zotovich is coming most recently from Sea Smoke where he began working with Kris Curran. Prior to working at Sea Smoke, Ryan was the assistant winemaker at Palmina. With Ryan’s help, Zotovich Cellars is proud to offer small, closely monitored lots of estate wine. 100% of the grapes crushed into Zotovich wine are grown on the 35 acre Zotovich estate vineyard located off of Route 246, between Melville and Foley wineries.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay offers lovely freshness and verve, with plenty of citrus, mint and floral overtones. Bright, saline notes extend the finish effortlessly. Drink this gracious, mid-weight Chardonnay over the next few years."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay offers more peach and hints of tropical fruits as well as more richness and depth on the palate. With classic citrus fruits, some spice, and minerality aromas and flavors, medium body, nicely integrated acidity, and a clean finish, it's a terrific, classic Chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills. It too is ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years."