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_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_206370Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Offering up pretty aromas of buttered apples, citrus oil and subtle white truffle that are subtly framed by new oak, the 2016 Chardonnay Steiner Vineyard is full-bodied, succulent and flavorful, with an ample, even lavish attack but with good underlying, balancing acidity. Concentrated and lingering, it's a lovely example of Sonoma County Chardonnay."
- Item #: i_210160Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is scented of ripe Bosc pears, fresh apple slices and nutmeg with hints of peach kernels, lightly browned toast and struck flint. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers plenty of apple and pear goodness, with a satiny texture and lively line, finishing creamy."
- Item #: i_210105Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleSince 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 2017 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 2016 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_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_275980Bottle Size: 750MLThe Educated Guess Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented and is all about balance. The cool coastal influence provides rich acidity and delicious tropical fruit flavors, while the barrel fermentation lends itself to creamy toasted notes of spice and vanilla. Very food friendly and crowd pleasing!
- 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_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_220610Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "Made in relatively good quantities, the 2017 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a beautiful, medium-bodied, charming effort that’s loaded with notions of apple blossom, honeysuckle, spice, and just a touch of minerality. It has terrific purity of fruit and is a gem of a wine to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years or so. It’s also a great introduction to the style of the estate. "
- 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_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."