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_216380Bottle Size: 750mlLike its Pinot Noir counterpart, the Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay is consistent from vintage to vintage, and represents the flagship wine of Domaine Serene's Chardonnay program. The Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay shows complex aromas of citrus blossom, stone fruit, nutmeg and crushed stone. These flavors carry through on the palate to display a balanced and elegant wine that delivers firm acidity, richness and persistence. With clonal variation and site driven diversity, we are able to craft this wine to our precise and exacting standards year after year.
The 2016 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay is a beautiful shade of pale yellow. Upon approach, intense aromas of Key lime, ginger, and brioche leap from the glass. As the wine continues to open, a second layer of aromatic complexity presents itself with pronounced Meyer lemon, honey, graham cracker and fresh pastries - quickly taking you back to fond memories of your favorite boulangerie in the French countryside. On the palate, both citrus and melon take center-stage and vibrant acidity is brought into harmony by a rich, creamy mouthfeel. A balance of oak and acid showcases its power and elegance, resulting in a long, lingering finish that echoes with layer upon layer of vanilla and stone fruit.
- Item #: i_215950Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Dragonette's 2016 Chardonnay Rita's Crown is compelling. Powerful and vibrant in the glass, with tremendous resonance, the 2016 is one of the more memorable Chardonnays I tasted this year in the Sta. Rita Hills. Lemon confit, apricot, flowers and white pepper all flesh out, but it is the wine's structural intensity and energy that leave the strongest impression. This is a fabulous wine by any measure."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "A step up over the Duvarita, the 2016 Chardonnay Rita's Crown Vineyard comes from a higher elevation vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 17 months in 20% new French oak. It offers killer notes of orange blossom, buttered pineapple, and white flowers, with an undeniable minerality and salinity emerging on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, complex, and layered, with a great mid-palate and a clean, crisp finish, this beauty will keep for upward of a decade or more."
- Item #: i_218740Bottle Size: 750MLEl 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!
El Molino's 2016 Rutherford Chardonnay displays rich complex fruit aromatics with ruby grapefruit, key lime, and lemon oil to the fore, supported by wet slate, green apple, and white flowers. On the palate the entry is plush and broad with excellent viscosity and great acidity. Full flavored and rich the flavors are long and persistent on the finish. This may prove to be one of their longest lived Chardonnays, although much willpower will be required as it is drinking beautifully now.
- Item #: i_220750Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard shows why this Sonoma Coast site is so highly regarded. Translucent and energetic in the glass, the 2016 speaks to finesse above all else. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper are all beautifully lifted. Bright, saline notes extend the finish. Simply put, the Platt is sublime."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The first vintage for this cuvee, the 2016 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard is another complex, savory effort that has racy, marine-influenced notes of tart citrus, leafy herbs, and crushed rocks. It's steely and acid-driven at the moment, but has mid-palate density and outstanding length. Give it a year or two."
- Item #: i_235890Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91-93ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91-93 POINTS - "A barrel sample, the 2016 Chardonnay features very pretty ripe grapefruit, apricot and honey-drizzled pears notes with hints of baking bread and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has plenty of expressive citrus and stone fruit flavors with impressive savory accents and great length."