- Item #: i_200830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "CIX stands for 109, because this was originally called "Parcel 109" when Aubert bought the vineyard. Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX Estate slips sensuously from the glass with beguiling scents of apple blossoms, honeysuckle and orange peel over a core of ripe Bosc pears, coriander seed, white pepper and shaved almonds plus a touch of talc. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has seamless freshness and the most beautifully perfumed personality, finishing long and fragrant."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay CIX Vineyard is a seamless, gorgeous beauty. Orchard fruit, mint, white pepper and floral notes all run through this super-expressive, alluring Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. In the glass, the CIX is understated and nuanced rather than overt. I find it absolutely mesmerizing."
- Item #: i_200620Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98-100ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98-100 POINTS - "Mark Aubert notes that this is a complex vineyard. It is planted to four different clones: two Old Wente clones, Mount Eden and Corton Charlemagne. The 2018 Chardonnay Lauren Estate explodes effortlessly from the glass, emitting flamboyant crystalized ginger, cinnamon stick, green tea and lime cordial notions with suggestions of applesauce, lemongrass, honey-roasted almonds and paraffin wax plus a touch of cedar chest. Full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully earthy/savory, delivering a beautiful oiliness to the texture juxtaposed by spine-tingling purity and freshness, finishing with epic length."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-98 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard, from vines planted in 1993, is the wine that, for me, brings together all the best elements of the Aubert style. Nuanced and silky, the 2018 is pure class from the very first taste. Lemon oil, white flowers and mint accents add complexity, but there is something about the wine's textural feel that just elevates it."
- Item #: i_200615Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98+ POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay UV-SL comes across as a little shy compared to the Napa Chardonnays, slowly unfurling to reveal oyster shells, peach blossoms, honeysuckle and brine notes over a core of lemon marmalade, creme brulee and pink grapefruit plus a touch of key lime pie. Full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring with loads of tension between the racy acid and all the taut fruit, finishing very long and very minerally. This should be very long-lived!"
- Item #: i_204330Bottle Size: 750MLFor those of you who are familiar with the Benziger line, you know by now that this family produces some of the best values from Sonoma and are fanatics amongst the wine world’s Green movements. In fact, the Benziger Family has been for years working on converting their vineyards to organic practices and recently has recieved for many of their vineyards “Certified Sustainable” designations.
- Item #: i_210160Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Wine Spectator: 91ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate opens with notes of toast, cream, lemon pith and hay over a core of Red Delicious apple and banana chips. The medium-bodied palate is rounded and creamy with toasty spice and honey notions, finishing long and lifted with juicy acidity."
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Intense and well-structured, with flavors of Bosc pear, Fuji apple and ruby grapefruit, supported by firm acidity. Dried savory herb notes linger on the fresh, pure-tasting finish. Drink now through 2023."
- Item #: i_210100Bottle Size: 750mlSince its founding, Chalk Hill has been producing artisan wines from their estate vineyards in the hills of northeastern Sonoma County. For four decades they have studied, prodded and coaxed our complex terroir to ensure that their estate wines deliver vivid aromatics, commanding flavors, great character and regional accuracy. While their 300+ acres of vineyards surrounding the winery will always be the cornerstone of Chalk Hill's identity, starting with the 2011 vintage, in addition to their estate Chardonnay, Chalk Hill started producing their first Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
This 2018 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay comes from extraordinary vineyards throughout Sonoma County consisting primarily of Foley Family estate vineyards. This Chardonnay features fruit from some of the best sites in Carneros, Chalk Hill, and ouf course, Sonoma Coast. Rich, graceful and balanced are just some of the ways to describe this 2018 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The wine is a light golden color and exudes aromas of apple and baking spice immediately upon entering the glass. The palate has a rich textural body composed by zest and acidity with flavors of toasted hazelnut, vanilla and creme brulee. With its cool-climate influences, this Chardonnay has remarkable varietal intensity, balanced acidity and minerality that complement the rich and full flavors on the palate.
- Item #: i_210670Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard is reticent on the nose at first, opening to apple blossom and wet stone with green and white fruits, fresh herbs, underlying spices and an intriguing note of tangerine peel. Medium-bodied, with a fantastic creamy/silky texture, it fills the mouth with spicy fruits and a line of rocky minerality, ending with nutty/honeyed nuances. Give this some time in bottle. 1,646 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard is a very pretty, understated wine. Orchard fruit, pineapple, white flowers and mint are all nicely lifted in this right, super-expressive Petaluma Gap Chardonnay. Bright saline notes punctuate the super-expressive finish."
- Item #: i_220760Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard is one of the more intense, powerful wines and is certainly one of my favorites in the lineup. Exotic orange blossom, orchard fruits, charcoal, and white flower notes give way to a medium-bodied, racy, vibrant Chardonnay that has good concentration and depth as well as length. This is classic Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!"
- Item #: i_220560Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Notes: This Chardonnay delights with aromas of citrus, white peach, orange blossom, vanilla, graham cracker and butter perfectly balanced by vibrant and refreshing flavors of Meyer lemon, minerality, cinnamon and pears. Lingering creamy and toasted oak notes round out the finish.
- Item #: i_220440Bottle Size: 750mlOwner and winemaker Matt Courtney started Ferren after an eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley at Marcassin Vineyard. The wines are made using traditional Burgundian methods without fining or filtration, and native yeasts on the grapes from the vineyards perform fermentations. Matt Courtney was featured in a full page picture in the Wine Spectator for their first release and got some great attention. This is on the winelist at the French Laundry, Meadowood, Solage, and the wines are very limited!
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "This is a captivating set of wines from Ferren. Matt Courtney describes 2017 as a year that started with natural concentration from small clusters and small berries, with that richness accentuated by the heat of the growing season. As usual, in the cellar, the wines were done with natural ferments. The Chardonnays spent 12 months in oak and 6 months in steel, while the Pinots spent 18 months in barrel."
"The 2017 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) is a huge overachiever in its peer group. Bold, luscious and rich, the 2017 has so much to offer. Soft contours and plush fruit give the 2017 tons of immediacy. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and ripe orchard fruit meld into the creamy, super-expressive finish."
- Item #: i_220150Bottle Size: 750mlThis bottling is sourced entirely from Flowers' organic and biodynamically farmed Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Vineyard. Planted in 1991, these "older" vines are producing some of their most exciting and interesting Chardonnays today. Given the extremes of this site, each small block ripens at its own pace.
With a brilliant golden hue, lively aromas of lemon verbena, lime zest, honey suckle, chamomile, and citrus blossom dominate the distinctive nose. The palate is precise and focused, driven by mouthwatering acidity and framed by flinty, coastal minerality – a vivid expression of Flowers' Estate vineyard.
- Item #: i_220170Bottle Size: 750MLThe dramatic landscape of the Sonoma coast, with its steep hillsides and windswept foothills, gives Flowers a diverse profile of well-draining soils, while direct proximity to the Pacific Ocean results in a long, cool growing season. These extreme coastal conditions allow Flowers to produce a layered Chardonnay with bright fruit focus, complex minerality and crystalline acidity. Flowers' Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is sourced from a small selection of family-owned sites, including their own estate Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard.
Medium yellow in color, this wine displays aromas of straw, lemon verbena, and honey suckle that mingle with layers of lemon meringue and lychee. Upon entry are flavors of lemon curd, honeydew, and hints of star fruit and wet stone, balanced with a touch of fine grained tannin. The crisp finish is countered with a spicy note of white pepper and lingers with coastal minerality.
- Item #: i_223550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay FRV Fort Ross Vineyard is a beauty. Clean, classic, and medium-bodied, with good acidity as well as notes of buttered orchard fruits and spice, it has plenty of fruit, good balance, and a classic Chardonnay profile."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard gives up notions of warm applesauce, poached pears and honey toast with a waft of lemon peel. The palate is medium-bodied with appealing freshness and plenty of spicy stone fruit and apple flavors, finishing on a honey-nut note. 508 cases produced."
- Item #: i_223470Bottle Size: 750MLRyo-fu is Japanese for "cool breeze." The cool, foggy breeze that comes off the Pacific Ocean allows the Russian River Valley to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's sandy soil is crucial as well; but without the right temperatures, the fruit could ripen too soon or not at all. Thanks to Freeman's local "ryo-fu", the growing seasons are perfectly timed for their vineyards. The 2015 vintage will go down as the earliest Chardonnay harvest on record at Freeman, and with a little help from that cool breeze, all of the fruit came in perfectly ripe.
A blend of Chardonnay from vineyards such as Keefer, Heintz, and Mill Station, the wine shows medium straw color, with a throwback nose of matchstick, honey, ripe Gravenstein apples, and melon. The palate is tightly wound, combining strong acidity and a dense core of fruit. It will take a few years in bottle to reach its peak, but with enough aeration in the glass, everything comes together to reveal a vibrant, well-balanced Chardonnay. The drinking window should be 2018–2023.
- Item #: i_227950Bottle Size: 750mlAromatic and bright with lemon rind, early harvest melon, jasmine blossoms, and minerals, this medium-bodied Chardonnay is full of juicy white nectarine and key lime balanced by zesty acidity and a clean finish belying its ample mouthfeel and texture. Perfect for sipping, quaffing, pairing, and changing opinions.
- Item #: i_228340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 92ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2006 Chardonnay (4,600+ cases) was 80% tank-fermented with no malolatic, and 33% spent 18 months in barrel. It possesses lovely white peach, pear, and crushed rock characteristics, full body, splendid acidity as well as purity, and a gracious integration of subtle oak. This beautiful white can be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Flinty, with a tight beam of mineral, white peach, nectarine, green apple and lime flavors that are concentrated, keeping the focus on the vibrant fruit. Drink now through 2014. 3,253 cases made."
- Item #: i_228010Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Comments: "With the complex fruit of a well grown, mature Chardonnay vineyard, coupled with the vineyard's inherent minerality and steely acidity, the intention is to cellar this rare wine, as it will develop over many years to come. With a beautiful pale straw and slight yellow color, this youthful beauty offers aromas of peach, meyer lemon, roasted hazelnut, crème brulee, douglas fir, baked apple and wet stone, and is classically Hanzell. It is full bodied with a very rich mouthfeel and an extremely long finish. If you are not a patient person, decanting this wine for a minimum of two hours prior to serving is recommended."
- Item #: i_228570Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay is a little reticent to begin, slowing unfurling to reveal lemon tart, apple pie and nectarine notions with hints of honeyed toast, cashews and orange blossoms. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled with many citrus and stone fruit layers accented by savory suggestions and a satiny texture, finishing long and mineral laced. 3,769 cases produced."
- Item #: i_223520Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92+ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards is a very pretty and also understated wine from Phelps. Yellow orchard fruit, white flowers, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all grace this expressive, pliant Chardonnay. Beams of supporting acidity support the nuanced finish. This is in a pretty restrained style for Phelps, and that is not a bad thing, as these wines have, at times, been a bit bombastic."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "Aged 13 months in 42% new French oak puncheons and barrels, the 2017 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard has an open nose of lush white peach, apricot, baked quince and poached pears with nuances of acacia blossom, wet stone and lemon zest. Medium-bodied, it's very lively in the mouth with layers of citrus and stone fruit with mineral accents, framed by great tangy acidity, finishing long and clean. 2,400 cases produced."
- Item #: i_235000Bottle Size: 750mlIn Burgundy, some wines are labeled Premier Cru without designating a specific site. Where Kistler owns or leases vineyards, it is necessary to apply the same scrutiny of blocks as has been done over 40 years working with top growers. Where the soil and aspect are just short of single-vineyard quality, the harvest is combined with similar blocks in other controlled vineyards. The intention is to show regional identity but not necessarily the individual vineyard expression. Grown in Gold-Ridge sandy loam near the Russian River, the primary vineyard blocks are Vine Hill Vineyard, Trenton Roadhouse Vineyard, and Dutton Ranch. The resulting wines have a unique set of aromatics heightened by mineral and earthen tones.
The 2018 Les Noisetiers shows the typical yellow gold color with hints of green. Orchard fruits drive the aromatic profile. Scents of yellow pears green apples and lemon pith are most prominent and these contrast the wines strong sense of minerality. The finish is citrus driven. This wine will benefit from decanting and aeration..
- Item #: i_200006Bottle Size: EACHLa Chertosa is named for the magnificent 14th century Renaissance monastery in the Tuscan valley of Farneta, Italy where the Sebastiani ancestral roots began. Here Sam's grandfather Samuele Sebastiani learned from the monks to make wine in the "Old World" style. Samuele came to Sonoma in 1893, and found that Sonoma closely resembled faraway Farneta in three ways; it boasted a mild Mediterranean climate, had the same Mediterranean red soils and was blessed with gently sloping hillsides. He founded Sebastiani Winery in 1904, one of the first wineries in California and employed the time-honored techniques taught him by the Carthusian monks in Farneta, to create in Sonoma, the winemaking style Sam continues in crafting the harmonic flavors in La Chertosa wines.
- Item #: i_236450Bottle Size: 750MLHere’s an old favorite which we love and promote for good reason. The La Crema Chardonnay shows off its true Sonoma Coast origins like a very expensive wine should, but wait... this only costs $15.99!
There are delicious flavors of pear, white peach and butterscotch intermingling on the palette and a long lingering finish that goes farther than any wine at this price should. This wine is more than just value, as it shows true depth and personality. Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse takes great care in ensuring that this wine is balanced and a marvelous stand out in the great sea of value-priced Chardonnay.
Just a quick whiff reveals great purity, with huge tropical and floral notes. In light of our current economic climate, La Crema Winery hits the mark on quality and availability, all the while delivering it prudently. Oh! And we should mention that Robert Parker said, This Chardonnay / Pinot Noir specialist should receive rave notices from bargain hunters looking for a top-flight Chardonnay that is complex, rich, and widely available. So we are by no means the only people who understand this winery's significance.