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_200240Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(21% new oak): Pale, brilliant yellow. Displays racy, mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit scents that show impressive focus and spicy lift. Shows excellent delineation and tension on the palate, offering nervy Meyer lemon, quince and candied ginger flavors that deepen slowly and pick up a hint of smokiness on the back half. Closes dry and impressively long, with repeating minerality and firm, tangy bite."
- Item #: i_200515Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay El Jabali Vineyard is a very pretty, nuanced wine. Understated, soft and silky, it has much to offer. This is an especially delicate style of Chardonnay, especially for the Sta. Rita Hills. Dried pear, herb and dried flowers add nuance throughout."
- 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_206210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Ribbon Ridge has a lovely nose of acacia blossom, fresh hay and wet stone over a core of red and yellow apples and lemon pith with touches of sliced almonds. Medium-bodied and lively in the mouth, it offers good layers of orchard and citrus fruit with mineral and earth notes plus toasty/nutty suggestions in the background. It's slightly creamy in the mouth with a strong frame of acidity, finishing on a honey-nut note. 350 cases produced."
- Item #: i_225200Bottle Size: 750mlFruit-focused, it captures the bright pear, apple, citrus and stone fruit character of grapes grown in Monterey County along California’s Central Coast. Hints of floral and spice highlight the aromas and echo on the palate. Balanced flavors mingle crisp, natural acidity with a rich, creamy texture from sur lie aging. Enjoy this Chardonnay with flavors from the ocean, (crab cakes, grilled fish, prawns or scallops and angel hair pasta tossed with a cream sauce) or pour with grilled chicken or pork, creamy chowders and mushroom risotto.
- Item #: i_216050Bottle Size: 750mlChamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
This is a limited selection from Clone 352 from the Chamisal Estate Vineyard, and represents the top 10 barrels of Chardonnay off their Estate. Hand picked and hand sorted before being whole cluster pressed and racked to French oak barrels for fermentation. Frequent lees stirring builds the texture and mid-palate of this wine. Full secondary fermentation completes and the wine undergoes a 14 month elevage on the lees before racking to tank and integrating the blend and finally bottling.
This bright gold Chardonnay opens with aromas of fresh pineapple, pistachio, toffee, and toasted oak. The palate bursts with bright nuances of white peach, lemon meringue, Asian pear and cinnamon toast. This is a classically luxurious Chardonnay with bright, clean fruit and a beautiful custard finish framed by excellent weight and vibrant acidity.
- Item #: i_275494Bottle Size: 750mlCanoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay is refined and elegant and we enhance that style in the cellar. This wine delivers crisp apple and white grapefruit aromas and flavors with a clean, refreshing finish. We age the wine in restrained, lighter French oak barrels to maintain its fresh style.
- Item #: i_210750Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 90ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Stoller Vineyard Ian's Reserve gives up lush scents of baked yellow apple, pear and quince with wonderful spicy accents of tarragon, grated cardamom and vanilla plus hints of toast, warm dried hay and clover honey—there are lots of layers in this glass! Medium to full-bodied with a lovely creamy texture, it has great concentration of warm orchard fruits with plenty of spicy accents and just enough oak, finishing long. 400 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(38 percent new French oak) Pale yellow-gold. Mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, joined by a slow-building ginger quality and hints of vanilla and iodine. Sappy, palate-staining Anjou pear and Meyer lemon flavors are complemented by a smoky lees note and lifted by zesty minerality. Finishes with impressive clarity and excellent persistence, leaving lingering mineral and citrus pith notes behind."
- Item #: i_216330Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsMount Eden has a long and glorious history. Originally planted by a man named Martin Ray, many of the original Mount Eden Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are some of the best renditions California has ever produced! Flash-forward to the present, and the wines are just as good as they always were. In addition to their estate wines, they produce a second wine called Domaine Eden. Sourced from a well-maintained vineyard just one mile away from their estate, Mount Eden utilizes the same exacting methods for their estate wines: natural indigenous fermentations - both primary and secondary, French Burgundy barrels, no fining, filtration or any other manipulation.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "I always love this Chardonnay from winemaker Jeffrey Patterson. The 2015 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains comes from an estate just south of Mount Eden that was purchased by Jeffrey in 2007. This wine is always a mix of both estates (Domaine Eden and Mount Eden) and also gets a touch of purchased fruit. The 2015 has wonderful freshness and purity, with vibrant white flowers and caramelized citrus, medium body, lots of salinity, and a pure, clean, age-worthy style. It can be drunk any time over the coming decade or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay is a gorgeous, pedigreed wine that captures all the brilliance and pedigree of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Weightless and gracious in the glass, with lovely aromatic lift and tons of energy, the Domaine Eden Chardonnay is pure class. Citrus, floral, almond and mineral nuances add further shades of nuance. Even more importantly, the 2015 is wonderfully fresh and vibrant, which will allow it to age gracefully for years to come. The Domaine Eden Chardonnay is 65% declassified Mount Eden Chardonnay and 35% fruit from the Domaine Eden property itself."
- 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_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!
Excellent bouquet, this opens beautifully on the palate with Asian pear, stone fruits, nice energy and structure, really nice acidity on the finish, long complex. A blend of Frei, Silver Eagle and Lancel Creek vineyard and only 10% new French oak.
- 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_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_232120Bottle Size: 750MLThis Chardonnay has great complexity with touches of pineapple, melon, green apple, kiwi, and yeast. On the palate this wine displays minerality, pineapple, lime, and a gentle mouth feel (a result of extensive batonnage).
- Item #: i_238210Bottle Size: 1.5LWinemaker's Notes: "Medium straw yellow in color, this 2015 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay exhibits intriguing aromas of wet stone, white peach, lemon cream, crème brulee and vanilla. The rich palate texture is derived from the use of classic Burgundian techniques, such as primary and malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels and weekly stirring of the lees during aging. The texture is balanced by fresh flavors of stone and citrus fruits, with a long, sweet oak finish."
- 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_274320Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "This is a small new project for Scott Hawley and it's devoted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards in the cooler regions south of Paso Robles. Hawley says that he's really enjoying the chance to break away from making the powerful, brawny wines of his home region and "seeing how the other half lives." For an inaugural effort this is a very strong lineup and I wouldn't have guessed that they were made by a man who earned his fame by working with Rhone varieties."
"Light hazy yellow. Fresh melon, tangerine, jasmine and a hint of iodine on the highly perfumed nose. Silky and seamless in the mouth, offering intense, mineral-laced honeydew and orchard fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter orange zest flourish that builds with aeration. Smoothly blends richness and vivacity and closes with impressive mineral lift and persistence."
- Item #: i_237450Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay shows the natural intensity of the year in its voluptuous, tropical personality. Pineapple, mint, orange peel, smoke and apricot infuse this racy, powerful Chardonnay. Oily and viscous on the palate, with tremendous textural depth and tons of sheer appeal, the 2015 has a lot to offer."
- Item #: i_236870Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Golden Slope captures an attractive stylistic middle ground that expresses notable textural richness and creaminess while retaining a good bit of aromatic nuance. Orchard fruit, wild flowers and a touch of reduction add complexity."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay Golden Slope is much more classic Chardonnay in style, with textbook stone fruits, brioche, toasted bread and white flower aromatics. Rich, medium-bodied, nicely textured and concentrated and balanced, drink it anytime over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_238940Bottle Size: 750mlThe grapes for this Chardonnay came exclusively from Macrostie's Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. Here the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site, cool and challenging, and produces wines of great distinction.
Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay always delivers something special and unique, and this vintage is no exception. Both intricate and exotic, this wine begins with alluring aromas of Asian pear and fragrant orange blossom. On the palate, a round, rich mouthfeel accentuates Wildcat's signature high-tone notes of honey and spice. At the same time, thanks to Wildcat's windy growing conditions, which thicken the grape skins, it has beautiful structure and body.
- Item #: i_241450Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Notes - The 2015 Silhouette starts with beautiful hints of fresh almonds, acacia and citrus notes. The wine then evolves towards exotic fruits with papaya, mango and peach. In the mouth it is defined by a beautiful length with an abundance of mineral notes and outstanding acidity. The mouthfeel is extremely intense but very fresh and elegant as well.
- 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_246970Bottle Size: 750ML- "John Kongsgaard told me that when the unfiltered Chardonnay from Newton was first launched in the early 1980s, the fruit came entirely from what is now the Judge Vineyard of Kongsgaard. No wonder that wine was so spectacular in those days. It also had an incredible aging curve as well. This wine continues to be a strong effort. Newton’s unfiltered Chardonnay has been a consistent winner since it was first launched in the early 1980s, when the fruit was coming from what is today John Kongsgaard’s Judge cuvée. Newton is still making this wine unfiltered, and the 2014 Chardonnay Unfiltered is rich and displays beautiful white peach, honeysuckle and tropical fruit, some nice, crisp wet pebble minerality in the background and a full-bodied mouthfeel. Deep, layered and complete, this is a big-time winner.