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_201610Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is gorgeous. Supple, lush and inviting, the 2015 is a fabulous introduction to the Arista wines. Lush and tropical, with fabulous freshness, the 2015 is terrific. Candied lemon peel, white flowers, chamomile and white flowers add lovely shades of nuance throughout. The Russian River Chardonnay is rich and opulent, but not at all heavy."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The appellation blend from winemaker Mike Courtney, Arista's 2015 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is a beautiful, classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Buttered orchard fruits, orange blossom, and white flower notes flow to a rich, concentrated, layered white that has nicely integrated acuity, no hard edges, and a clean finish. This cuvee spent 12 months in 25% new French oak (the balance in stainless steel), and it should drink nicely for 4-6 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Russian River Valley offers up gregarious tropical and citrus fruit notions of guava, grapefruit and lemon tart with suggestions of allspice, fresh ginger and baking bread. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with tropical and spicy layers, featuring a lively line of freshness and finishes on a savory note. 578 cases were made."
- Item #: i_200700Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-99 POINTS - "A barrel sample, the 2017 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard comes from a warmer site in the Russian River (usually picked second after Sugar Shack) planted to Montrachet clone on very rocky, gravelly soils—the vines really struggle here. It has quite a decadent nose of pineapple upside down cake, almond croissant, peach cobbler and apple crumble with hints of marzipan and orange blossoms. The palate is full-bodied, rich, powerful and opulent in the mouth, with a wonderful oiliness to the texture and a seamless backbone of freshness to give it just enough lift, finishing very long and savory. This is a powerhouse that should offer amazing aging potential."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-98 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard is incredibly expressive. Montrachet clone in this hillside Russian River site yields a Chardonnay of real distinction and nuance. A hint of reduction adds brightness to a core of candied orange, butter, vanillin and tropical notes. Even with all of its intensity, the 2017 is bright, focused and wonderfully lifted. Readers who can find it should not hesitate."
- Item #: i_207310Bottle Size: 750mlIt's not often that tank-fermented Chardonnay delivers the depth and texture of Teresa's Unoaked Chardonnay. This rich and diverse wine has bright fruit aromas and a nicely balanced mouth feel. The complex bouquet includes key lime, lemon peel, peaches and apricots. The crisp tartness complements the wine's natural viscosity and creates balance and elegance. This wine is extremely versatile with food. It's textured and plush enough to compliment rich seafood like lobster, crab and scallops, but also has a crisp acidity and fruit flavors that can pair nicely with more diverse flavors like grilled pork tenderloin with a fresh apple reduction sauce.
- Item #: i_218560Bottle Size: 750mlNow mostly comprised of Stiling Vineyard fruit, winemaker Kent Humphreys chose to pick this vineyard in several stages to provide both ripeness and natural acidity. A small 4% addition of Fallenleaf Vineyard (new to the blend) lends the Old Wente clone's custardy bass notes while another 4% of Green Acres Vineyard Hyde clone contributes both texture and verve.
While this packs all the hallmark flavors of the exotic Rued clone (white flowers, peach and citrus oil) there's also a sense of grace on the palate. Buoyed by a hand-in-glove selection of oak barrels, we're smitten with this rendition. We absolutely love the freshness found in this vintage, and while it will be tempting to drink young it should age beautifully for years.
- Item #: i_218950Bottle Size: 750mlHistory runs deep at this 17-acre vineyard on Vine Hill Road in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Back in the 1960s, Sonoma County legend Duff Bevill planted the parcel to the old Clone 4 of Chardonnay. These grapes still grow today, though now the owners are Dennis and Mary Black, and the land is called Black Emerald Vineyard. Because this vineyard is dry-farmed, raising the canopy away from the heat of the ground during the day helps moderate the cluster temperature. At night, this strategy also helps keep clusters dry.
Only 215 cases were produced of this wine, which displays decadent aromas of sweet pears, melons and candied apples precede a balanced acidity akin to pineapple that freshens the notes of orange marmalade, ripe citrus and tree fruits on the palate. Sweet and sour tones are met in measure with a light caramel beeswax texture and bright notes of Meyer lemon and ripe apples on the finish.
- Item #: i_223910Bottle Size: 750mlFrei Brothers' Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a soft and complex reflection of one of Sonoma's most renowned cool-climate regions. This wine displays flavors of green apple, orange zest and apple pie, complemented by notes of butter and toast. The rich, nutty flavors in this Chardonnay lead to a silky finish and a plush mouthfeel.
- Item #: i_219890Bottle Size: 750mlPellegrini's Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR roostock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping benchland in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region andthe cooler Green Valley, where warm sunny days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperature, regular fog intrusion and well-drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars. The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finess, and they do so with tremendous balance.
This Chardonnay is a pure expression of penetrating acidity moderated by layers of rich, velvety baking spices with crisp apple and citrus notes throughout. The bouquet unravels decadent aromas of shortbread, French vanilla beans and apricot Tarte Tatin, with hints of vibrant lemon zest. The warm and spicy nose paves the way for a more lean and mineral driven palate with exuberant citrus and lemon merengue pie. It slowly opens up to underlying tones of white tea, fresh kumquats and lemongrass. The complex nature of this wine keeps drinkers on their toes, while the impeccable structure is perfect for cellaring for many years to come.
- Item #: i_219940Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage brings together fruit from some amazing Russian River Valley vineyards with a number of sites new to the Gary Farrell cellar. They anchor the blend with the naturally balanced character of Westside Farms, while fruit from Rochioli Vineyard brings great concentration and structure. Among the new sources is Pellegrini's 65-acre Olivet Lane vineyard featuring the Wente clone, which adds nice citrus tones and excellent acidity. And just north of Rochioli- Allen, the Bacigalupi Goddard Ranch site brings intriguing floral tones and stone fruit character.
Enticing aromas of stonefruit, honeysuckle and lemongrass fill the glass, followed by a flavor profile ofexceptional intensity and vibrant acidity, balanced by a rich, creamy texture thatcomes from extended lees stirring during malolactic fermentation. This wine expresses pure, unadulterated Russian River Chardonnay intermingled withdistinctive cool-climate notes such as lemon oil, citrus peel, honey, lime andexcellent acidity.
- Item #: i_229070Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 90-92Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Fog Dance Vineyard comes from a hillside parcel in the cooler Green Valley portion of the Russian River. Barrel fermented and aged 16 months in 36% new French oak, it offers a huge nose of orange blossom, tangerines, and citrus oil, full body, a crisp, beautifully detailed, delineated texture, good acidity, and a big finish. Drink this elegant yet powerful Russian River Chardonnay over the coming 5-7 years. It's terrific stuff."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Fog Dance Vineyard has turned out even better than I originally expected. Slate, crushed rocks, mint, lemon confit and white pepper are all perked up by bright acids. A hint of reduction adds character without overpowering the wine. Fog Dance remains one of the most distinctive wines in the Hartford Court range."
- Item #: i_228940Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "The 2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Jennifer's Vineyard displays intense notes of grapefruit, green guava, mango and pineapple with nuances of talc, oyster shells and fresh ginger. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and super intense with tightly wound layers of citrus and tropical fruits and bags of mineral notions on the epically long finish. This needs time but should emerge from the cellar gloriously in 2-3 years! 337 cases produced."
- Item #: i_228880Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2017 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard has a drop-dead gorgeous floral nose with notes of orange blossoms, honeysuckle and jasmine with a core of preserved lemons, candied ginger, peach cobbler and applesauce. Medium to full-bodied, it has a racy line of freshness and a wonderfully satiny texture, finishing long and citrusy. 1,739 cases produced."
- Item #: i_228800Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsHartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast. Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of their vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings and the varietals they use. "Character through adversity" is an expression that they believe applies to people and grapevines and surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.
The Russian River Valley is one of the best places in the world for growing Chardonnay. The cooling winds from the Pacific Ocean spread throughout the area, and help to moderate the temperatures throughout the day, whereas areas just to the east are exceptionally warmer. Also, the soils are a mix of sand, clay, and silt. The clay brings richness to a wine, while the sand brings more flowered aromatics and brightness in the wine. If you ask us, this sounds like the recipe for Chardonnay perfection!
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The largest production cuvee from Hartford Court is their 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley. Its medium gold color is followed by a rounded, supple, textured Chardonnay that has classic notes of pineapple, white flowers, honeysuckle, and toasted spice. Rounded, fleshy, and textured on the palate, with plenty of oomph, it shows the quality of this estate beautifully."
- Item #: i_232760Bottle Size: 750MLThe J Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay is creamy and generous with aromas of golden apple, pineapple, tangerine, and a hint of ginger. Made with nearly all free run juice, this Chardonnay is bright and fruit forward with a broad lemon custard mid-palate. The oak is spice-driven and integrated, which complements the ripe fruit flavors and bright acidity.
- Item #: i_232900Bottle Size: 750ML"There's a beautiful balance to this wine. The opportunity to work with such delicately spiced fruit with such lively acidity was especially fun, offering so many aromas and flavors to employ on our vintage canvas. Similar to 2015, the 2016 Jordan Chardonnay will be remembered as very Chablis-like upon release. Expect this wine to take on more Puligny-Montrachet qualities with another 1-2 years of bottle age." —Winemaker Rob Davis
- Item #: i_256334Bottle Size: 750mlAromas of meyer lemon, nectarine and jasmine. Flavors of yellow plum, d'Anjou pear, tangerine and toasted hazelnut. Richly textured, velvety and concentrated with balanced acidity and subtle toast.
- Item #: i_274338Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2016 Laguna Chardonnay offers elegant hints of refreshing apple, peach, and ripe orange. Expressive layers of caramel and spice complement subtle toasted oak notes. Full bodied with hints of cream, this wine has a soft, lingering finish.
- Item #: i_237240Bottle Size: 750mlCreme brulee opens into a candied pear bouquet. Fermented in stainless steel tanks on the leas and aged in neutral, French oak barrels, light hints of vanilla arise with more robust cantaloupe, citrus, and ripe melon notes. Balanced, fresh texture and crisp acidity harmonize this Chardonnay in a wonderful expression of the Russian River Valley.
- Item #: i_245220Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 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!
This vineyard on the bench of Sonoma County's Russian River benefits from ideal conditions for the Old Wente field selection, renowned for its richness. The concentration originating from the petite size of the berries is enhanced by classical Burgundian wine-making techniques. This wine is dedicated to the Morlet's daughter, Claire Morlet: "Ma Princesse."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Ma Princesse is opulent and sexy, revealing alluring honeyed white peach, apple pie and guava notes with touches of allspice, brioche, praline and crushed stones. Full-bodied, with a gorgeous creaminess to the texture, it fills the mouth with tropical and savory flavors with seamless freshness, finishing with lingering savory nuances. 425 cases made."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Ma Princesse, from Ritchie Vineyard, is lush, creamy and inviting, with no hard edges and terrific balance. There is plenty of textural depth and nuance, but in the mid-weight style that is typical of the Morlet Chardonnays today. The 2015 is all class."
- Item #: i_276340Bottle Size: 750mlStiling Vineyard, located in the Green Valley AVA of the Russian River Valley, was planted by the Stiling family in 1988. The vineyard is composed of the infamous Goldridge sandy loam soils, which produce vines of moderate vigor. Nickel and Nickel sources their fruit from two different blocks and two different clones— the See clone and the Rued clone. These clones each offer a unique flavor to the Stiling wine. The coastal influence produces daytime temperatures that allow the grapes to slowly develop full ripeness while retaining perfect balance. Nickel and Nickel produces Chardonnay from 10.5-acres within the 35-acre vineyard.
The 2016 Stiling Chardonnay opens with intoxicating floral aromas of muscat and honeysuckle. Layers of Meyer lemon, honeysuckle and citrus flavors glide across the palate. Supported by subtle oak and a natural acidity that adds vibrance and length, this wine is both refreshing and expansive, with elegant notes of muscat lingering on the finish.
- Item #: i_249340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch gives up gregarious notes of nectarines, guava and passion fruit with suggestions of almond croissant and honeysuckle. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a lovely creaminess to the texture and oodles of freshness, finishing long and fruity. 10,051 cases produced."
- Item #: i_230550Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 90-92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - The 2016 Chardonnay features a wonderfully spicy nose of nutmeg, ginger ale and coriander seed with a core of Bosc pears, ripe nectarines and applesauce. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has fantastic freshness with a zippy acid line lifting all those fantastic spices to a good long finish. 5,390 cases were made.
ANTONIO GALLONI 90-92 POINTS - The 2016 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is a very pretty, nuanced wine, and also a terrific introduction to this range of super-expressive Chardonnays from Paul Hobbs. The understated personality of the year comes through nicely in the wine's lifted, gracious feel. The lemon confit and white flower notes are bright and nicely delineated
- Item #: i_230520Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Produced from Old Wente Hyde Selection clones, the 2017 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate leaps from the glass with gregarious notions of candied ginger, lemongrass, yuzu zest and allspice with a core of green mango and pineapple plus a waft of crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate features a truly zippy line of freshness lifting the densely packed, opulent tropical and spice layers to a very long finish. Fantastic tension! 434 cases were made, to be released in March 2019."