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_250240Bottle Size: 750mlThis is the hot new Chardonnay made by Rob Lloyd! Lively aromatics of high toned citrus, lemon peel, tropical fruits and fresh cream lead into a refreshing and mouthwatering palate. Flavors of guava, papaya, key lime and crème brulée flow throughout a long, smooth, mineral-laced finish.
- Item #: i_252560Bottle Size: 750MLThis wine comes from grapes grown on the "Y" Block at Bien Nacido Vineyard. "Y" Block is one of the older Chardonnay blocks at Bien Nacido. It's located on the gravelly river banks of the Cuyama River, just opposite the winery. Qupe is the only winery that gets these grapes. This is classic Y Block Chardonnay, with all of the flinty, citrus, pear and tropical fruit aromas and flavors that you've come to love, made intriguing by just a hint of spice from judicious use of French and Hungarian oak. This still has plenty of acidity for a fuller-bodied Chardonnay, with leesy richness mid-palate and a finish that begs for another sip.
- Item #: i_252750Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Vinous Media: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is a richer, medium-bodied Chardonnay that stays firmly in the style of the estate. Classy notes of caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, and brioche all emerge from this beautiful Russian River Chardonnay that has both freshness and richness. It's already drinking nicely yet will certainly keep for 7-8 years." ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is another gracious, open-knit appellation-level Chardonnay from David Ramey. Pliant and inviting, it will drink well upon release. There is a brightness to the 2016 that is quite appealing."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is fermented in barrel with batonnage, then aged in 20% new French oak for 12 months. The nose is very minerally, with aromas of petrichor, lemon pith, green melon and soft white blossom with sliced almond hints. Medium to full-bodied, it's citrusy in the mouth with tons of minerally sparks, lively tangy acidity and creamy, toasty nuances on the finish. 6,521 cases produced."
- Item #: i_255230Bottle Size: 750mlIn the hills of California's Monterey County lies an area that grows some of the very best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. This area is known as the Santa Lucia Highlands. Like many other famed grape growing regions of the state, what once was known for orchards and vegetables farms has become heralded for their grapes, and Roar's Franscioni family is regarded as having one of the top vineyards in the area. In fact, the Franscioni's Rosella's and Sierra Mar Vineyards are in such demand, due to the stellar quality of fruit pulled off the vines, that the finished wines command prices similar to what is found in the Russian River Valley!
- Item #: i_257690Bottle Size: 750MLSan Simeon Chardonnay is a rich, mouth-filling wine with ripe tropical fruit flavors with complements of citrus and pear. The nose reveals bright fruit and oak toast with hints of vanilla and spice. Mineral notes express the rocky terroir of the vineyards. This structured and well-balanced wine shows a lengthy finish with potential to age.
- Item #: i_257650Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2016 Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay is a beautiful straw gold color. On the nose, it offers intriguing aromas of grilled citrus, stone fruits and roasted almond. In addition to the bright fruit, the palate has racy minerality, great structure and a long finish. This Chardonnay makes a nice complement to most seafood, poultry and pasta with lighter sauces, and makes and excellent pairing with mushrooms (especially chanterelles and morels).
- 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_258410Bottle Size: 750MLThis classic Carneros Chardonnay was grown primarily on the Schug Estate vineyard, with additional barrels from their grower-partners Ricci, Wildcat, Leveroni, Wood Valley and Iund Vineyards. It was fermented and aged on the lees (sur-lie) in small French oak barrels, with minimal new oak introduced. Malo-lactic fermentation was not induced, allowing the wine to retain its natural acidity and varietal focus. The result is a wine that is both rich and powerful, while refreshing and elegant on the finish. It has a ripe, spicy tropical bouquet with flavors that suggest citrus, pear and spiced apples. Well-balanced acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish, making it an excellent wine with food. Try it with cream soups, rich seafood, fowl, veal and pasta dishes.
- 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_241210Bottle Size: 750mlMonterey County's Santa Lucia Highland Region produces some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the world. This region benefits from cool morning fog and afternoon breezes that result in a long growing season, producing intense fruit flavors balanced with vibrant acidity.
The label "Silver" came into being due to the fact that the wine saw no oak; it was fermented and aged in stainless steel. The wine still never sees any oak, yet in addition to stainless steel, cement tanks are utilized to give the wine a small amount of oxygen contact to enhance flavor development, similar to aging in an oak barrel.
Bright minerality and fresh-cut hay qualities are apparent on the nose, followed by zesty citrus and stone-fruit notes. Seamless fruit flavors of grapefruit, lemon and gooseberry shine through on the mid-palate, complemented by a crisp acidity that carries through from start to finish. The higher acidity in this wine makes it a perfect accompaniment to a wide array of food, particularly fresh salads, grilled seafood, and some tomato-based dishes.
- 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: 750mlVinous Media: 90Jeb 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_268490Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 93The signature white wine of Talley Vineyards, the Estate Chardonnay, represents a pure expression of the calcareous soils and cool maritime climate of the Arroyo Grande Valley produced in a classic old world style, incorporating barrel fermentation and aging. This bottling dates to the inaugural vintage of 1986 and was the first Chardonnay produced in the Arroyo Grande Valley.
Light gold in appearance, the 2016 Estate Chardonnay offers aromas of freshly churned butter with a hint of rose petal. On the palate, notes of honey-roasted peanuts lead to a rich and toasty finish. Enjoy this Chardonnay with pad thai or chicken piccata in a caper and butter sauce.
- Item #: i_268420Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsRosemary's Vineyard is located on a hillside surrounding Rosemary Talley’s home, and is characterized by white, rocky fractured sandstone and loam, with some clay in the subsoil. Rosemary's is steep, very well-drained, and because it is closer to the ocean, slightly cooler. Entirely hand-harvested, this was 100% barrel-fermented and aged for 15 months, yet there is no evidence of heaviness.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(20% new French oak) Limpid yellow-gold. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe tangerine, green apple, pineapple, Anjou pear and pungent flowers; iodine and fennel accents emerge as the wine opens up. Sappy, penetrating citrus and orchard fruit flavors convey both power and delicacy. Smoky lees and mineral notes build steadily on a very long, silken, finely etched finish that emphatically repeats the floral and pear notes."
JEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "One of the gems in the lineup is the 2016 Chardonnay Rosemary's Vineyard, which comes from a cool, chalky, shale site in the Arroyo Grande Valley and spent 15 months in 20% new French oak. This medium-bodied, pure, vibrant beauty has everything. Complex notes of white flowers, white peach, honeyed apples, and a distinct salty minerality all give way to a perfectly balanced, layered Chardonnay that's going to continue gaining complexity over the coming 2-3 years and will keep for 7-8 years after that."
- 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_274630Bottle Size: 750mlExpressive tropical fruit aromas of pineapple, guava and dried mango indicate how luscious this wine is. There is a citrus tone of lemon zest, with a floral note of vanilla blossom. The citrus element carries onto the palate with additional flavors of green kiwi and jasmine. There is a bit of salinity and the minerality expresses itself as slate. This wine is refreshing and has a vibrant acidity.
- Item #: i_270070Bottle Size: 750MLAromas of pineapple, quince, and jasmine; with hints of nutmeg, fig, and toasted oak. The mouth is clean and bright; filled with fresh flavors of green apple, pear, and Meyer lemon. Firm acidity provides a crisp finish of citrus, mineral, and spice.
- Item #: i_271170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate opens with tantalizing scents of green mango, pineapple and lemon meringue pie with nuances of cashews, candied ginger and brioche. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers incredible tension and depth, with loads of tightly wound tropical and savory layers plus a silken texture, finishing very long."