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_200480Bottle Size: 750mlII by Alpha Omega is the culmination of the two worlds, the Alpha and the Omega, the Old World and the New World. Winemakers Jean Hoefliger and Michel Rolland worked to create a wine that is not only opulent, fruit forward and generous, but also has the backbone of European acidity and elegance. A reflection of both worlds, II is a wine that is built to be approachable, both in taste and price, and consumed early.
This Chardonnay has a pale yet brilliant white gold color with touches of green. The nose displays intense green apple, pear, vanilla and white chocolate with minerality, bubble gum and jasmine mingled with fresh flavors of pear, apricot, honeysuckle and starfruit lingering on lemon and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich, and luscious, this is the quintessential wine for California Chardonnay lovers!
- Item #: i_200290Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "Vibrant and rich with enticing aromatics that lead to a firm core of pear, apple and apricot flavors shaded by light spicy oak. On the palate, the wine offers layer upon layer of lingering flavors. The wine highlights varietal purity, elegance and a freshness on the palate."
- Item #: i_200330Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94The focus of this two person operation is on small lot, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, as well as several other varieties uncommon in Northern Californian vineyards. Sites are carefully chosen and are generally on the cooler end of the spectrum for the planted varieties. Collaboration with dedicated and passionate growers is paramount in the farming of these sites.
Duncan and Nathan grew up around winemaking in the Napa Valley. Nathan is a second generation cooper and personally builds all of the French oak barrels that are utilized in the ageing of all Arnot-Roberts wines. Over the years Duncan has worked making wine in the Napa Valley in wineries like, Caymus, Groth, Acacia, Kongsgaard. Total production of Arnot-Roberts is around 2,000 cases per year with thirteen individual wines.
The Watson Ranch Chardonnay comes from one of the southernmost vineyards in Napa Valley AVA. The vines were planted in 1990 and dry farmed in clay over limestone with a view of San Pablo Bay. The wine was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel by native yeasts and aged in neutral French oak barrels.
- "The 2018 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is a gorgeous wine. Apricot, chamomile, dried flowers, sage and dried pear are all laced together in this super-expressive, inviting Chardonnay. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2018, as it is quite closed today. Bright saline notes add freshness and zip to this super-expressive Chardonnay."
- Item #: i_207600Bottle Size: 750mlChardonnay grapes grown in the bottom half of the valley tend to produce rich, ripe, elegantly structured wines that are delicious on release, but also age well in the bottle; this gem is no exception! And while 75% is fermented in French oak, only 11% goes through malolactic fermentation in order to produce a full-bodied wine that's food friendly. The nose offers vivid, creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of beeswax and mineral. Full-bodied and vibrant on the palate, with bright, intense, apple, citrus and melon flavors, Cakebread's 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay is remarkably persistent on the palate, culminating in a long finish showcasing pleasing spice, yeast and mineral tones. Released soon after bottling, it will hit its stride after 6-8 months and reward 5-7 years' aging.
- Item #: i_244010Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Montelena's 2016 Chardonnay is terrific. Fresh, nuanced and light on its feet, the 2016 is striking for its freshness and understated intensity. Lemon peel, almond, chamomile and floral overtones add shades of nuance throughout, but above all else, the 2016 stands out for its bright, crystalline tension and overall energy. What a gorgeous wine this is. "
- Item #: i_214030Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "A year of warmth and opulence, the 2017 Estate Chardonnay offers aromas of honeysuckle, jasmine, vanilla and clove spice. The honeyed aromatics give way to unctuous fruit tones of pear and peach, with lemony brightness that carries along the rich spice and toasty brioche notes. This is a rich, plush and pleasing Chardonnay balanced beautifully by oak and refreshing fruit tones."
- Item #: i_200310Bottle Size: 750mlThe David Arthur Estate is located high on Pritchard Hill, on the eastern side of the Napa Valley. The rough mountain terrain and rocky red soils provide ideal growing conditions for wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1978, Donald Long and his 28 year old son David began the epic job of building roads, clearing land and finally planting wine grapes. Although David lacked a formal viticultural education, he learned hands-on by working in the vineyards and cellars of local wineries such as the Chappellet and Joseph Phelps. The first vintage of Chardonnay was harvested in 1985, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon in the nineties. As his experience and knowledge of the land grew, David learned the ability of these hills to grow the very finest wine grapes. Today, with the help of a highly insightful team, David Arthur continues to cultivate rich concentrated wine grapes that in turn help them craft distinctive and memorable wines.
Chardonnay is now the anomaly, as David Arthur has sourced their Chardonnay grapes from the Oak Knoll District and Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa Valley for nearly a decade, and cherish their relationships with these independent growers that offer small parcels and unique clonal selections. The David Arthur Chardonnay style offers a wonderful balance of new world fruit expression and restrained winemaking technique.
A slight green-golden hue offers bright and illuminated aromas of kiwi, Asian pear and Golden Delicious apple, and white peach, citrus blossom followed by light hints of toasted almonds. The palate is soft/plush and full throttle with layers of citrus, candied apple, poached pear and finishes with a subtle minerality
- Item #: i_216814Bottle Size: 750mlThe fantastic 2017 growing season yielded an intense and complex expression of Napa Valley Chardonnay, with alluring aromas of nectarine, yellow plum, pineapple upsidedown cake, and sweet spices. On the palate, zesty acidity and an underlying silkiness add depth and nuance, with French oak-inspired hints of vanilla, sweet dough and clove framing the generous fruit.
- 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_219930Bottle Size: 750MLAlways the "darling" of Chardonnays, Far Niente Chardonnay is a blend of superlative Napa Valley vineyards, many of which are located in a little-known area called Coombsville: a cool growing region nestled in the rolling hills east of thecity of Napa. While entirely barrel-fermented, it doesn't go through the typical secondary fermentation, thus keeping itsrefreshing acidity. Perhaps this is why it appeals to such a broad spectrum of consumers!
Classic Far Niente style with aromas of grilled citrus, melon and honeysuckle with hints of white fig, gardenia and toasted hazelnuts, background of mild toasted oak that adds supportive warmth and richness. A silky entry builds on the palate with a rich texture that continues to evolve. Possessing great structure and length, a sweet core of melon and citrus is supported by white floral and toasted vanilla and baking spice notes. The broad mid palate comes back together with a long bright finish.
- Item #: i_223710Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Freemark Abbey is one of Napa's hallmark producers with a rich history dating back to pre-prohibition days. They were also one of the 12 Wineries featured in "The 1976 Judgment of Paris" tasting where California won every single category, which catapulted Napa Valley onto the world stage as a premier wine-producing region. Ted Edwards has been at the helm as winemaker for over 3 decades crafting these classically-styled wines while garnering rave reviews from the top critics year after year. This producer is also no stranger to our Hi-Time Cellars top 10 wines of the year feature we do every holiday season which should tell you how our staff feels about the level of quality, commitment and consistency!
CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE WINERY
WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay (no malolactic fermentation) offers notes of fresh pineapple, honeydew melon and lemon tart with touches of allspice, shaved almonds and lanolin. Medium to full-bodied, the fruit hits the palate with amazing freshness and vivacity, sporting loads of citrus and spice notions and finishing long."
- Item #: i_225560Bottle Size: 750mlOn the nose, bright lemon zest, grapefruit peel, and Mexican lime mix with spice notes of cinnamon and vanilla. The first impression on the palate is zesty citrus. The mid-palate hosts tart green apple, peach, and grilled pineapple. The finish shows notes of pastry cream, chamomile, dried apricot, and golden raisins. This complex Chardonnay also displays hits of a wet stone minerality.
- Item #: i_227330Bottle Size: 750MLLong, cool fermentation in a mixture of old and new barrels gives this Chardonnay layers of fruitiness and complexity that result in a wine that is very enjoyable when young or after several years of bottle age. This method of fermentation, in conjunction with whole cluster pressing and "sur lie" aging add layers of toastiness and creaminess to the wine. Together these components meld together harmoniously to create a balanced wine that is both lively and rich in aroma and flavor.
- Item #: i_229830Bottle Size: 750MLChardonnay The Heitz name is so deeply ingrained in the culture of Cabernet connoisseurs that some people are surprised to discover we have been making Chardonnay since the winery was founded in 1961. Sleek and vibrant with the invigorating aroma of juicy pear and lemon blossoms. It's a delicious wine delivering tiers of citrus flavor and the slight tanginess.
- Item #: i_232710Bottle Size: 750mlIn the opinoin of Jax Winery, many Napa Valley Chardonnays tend to be over-styled with excessive butter and oak. But as the Jackson siblings know (through lots of "tasting"), an outstanding Chardonnay owes its success to outstanding fruit, not a heavy style.
The Chardonnay for the Jax "Y3" come from a single vineyard in Carneros that is influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean allowing for a long growing season. The grapes are fermented in French concrete tanks and aged in barrels 3+ years old. Fermenting Chardonnay in concrete like in Chablis enhances the aromatics of the varietal, increases the mineral characteristics and allows the flavor of the vineyard to be the star.
- 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."
- Item #: i_236700Bottle Size: 750mlThe nose displays big ripe fruit with lovely oak and light buttery white peach with vanilla, and a hint of pineapple. A rich and elegant palate, clean and balanced. Nectarine and macaroon flavors persist into the long finish.
- Item #: i_239550Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTE - Our 2017 Chardonnay wants to take you on a tropical vacation as it introduces itself in a flourish of pineapple, banana and jasmine aromas. Layered with brown butter, vanilla and citrus zest, the ripe apple flavors are elegantly laced with both mineral and nutmeg oak highlights. Finishing brightly with a bit of barrel fermented creaminess, you will find this wine pairs easily with any meal. A beautiful coconut curry dish with the freshest seafood always accents the rich texture in this wine perfectly.