- Item #: i_215510Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 91Dierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Dierberg sells much of their fruit to other wineries, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections of the vineyard for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones" whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Chardonnay vineyard in California. Last year's 93-point Chardonnay was a huge hit at our store, and this Pinot Noir is a great follow up!
This wine has the personality of many Chardonnay's from Burgundy's Macon region; baked apple, plenty of lively acidity and freshness, good body, and low to moderate use of new oak (about 20%). This is an amazing deal in California Chardonnay, earning 92 points from both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Antonio Gallino's Vinous Media...so grab this while it's still here!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard, aged 15 months in 20% new oak, has a nose of honey toast, baked golden apple, wet hay, earth, white peach and almonds plus a tinge of creme fraiche. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky texture, very lively acidity and a long, nutty finish. 2,675 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard is rich, ample and super-expressive. Lemon confit, pineapple, lime and tropical notes infuse this lush Chardonnay with plenty of character. Supple, open-knit and inviting, the 2017 is best enjoyed over the next handful of years."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard (10 months in 30% new French oak) reveals a lighter gold color as well as a terrific bouquet of white currants and orchard fruits, brioche, spice, and hints of toasted bread. With medium body, a rounded, nicely textured style, good balance, and a great finish, drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_218880Bottle Size: 750mlElk Cove's Chardonnay is hand picked then gently whole-cluster pressed to avoid bitterness. The juice is fermented in large puncheons and a mix of neutral and new oak barrels. They age in barrel for a full 12 months with some stirring on the lees after malolactic fermentation. This is their classic take on Chardonnay, one of the original varietals they planted in 1974 and grew for over 20 years.
A fruity nose sets the stage with lemon meringue, baked pineapple and wafts of almond cookie and creme brulee. Generous yet streamlined, this wine has a rich, creamy mouthfeel of quince and toasted coconut accented by fresh lemon peel and baking spice.
- Item #: i_238710Bottle Size: 750mlDelightfully elegant floral notes of orange blossom, linden, and honeysuckle awaken your senses. Flavors are fresh and inviting on the palate with bright minerality complemented by zippy tangerine fruit. Soft oak notes linger on the finish with flavors of nutmeg, vanilla and toasted pecans. This 2016 has enough body to stand up to a wide array of foods and the balance to drink well on its own.
- Item #: i_232320Bottle Size: 750MLTobin James Cellars, located 8 miles east of Paso Robles on Highway 46, sits among 71 acres of vineyard's and oak dotted hills. A magnificent setting for magnificent wines! This region is wonderful for powerful reds, but Monterey County holds a better place for Chardonnays. Rich & creamy with great citrus flavors, this is the perfect Chardonnay for afternoons and light to moderate food!
- Item #: i_236870Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Golden Slope wafts from the glass with an expressive bouquet of buttered apples, smoke, toasted nuts, brioche and honeycomb. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, glossy and ripe, but remains fresh and succulent, finishing with good length and back-end grip. While it's one of the more open-knit, pleasure-bent of these Liquid Farm Chardonnays, it finds an appealing natural balance that also made it one of my favorites."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Golden Slope saw 15% new French oak, the balance was in neutral oak. Honeyed apples, melon, and ample mineral notes all flow to a rich, medium to full-bodied, mouthfilling effort that has nicely integrated acidity, solid mid-palate depth, and a big finish. It’s another outstanding wine from winemaker James Sparks that will keep for 5-7 years."
- Item #: i_238940Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92The 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.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - ""The 2016 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay delivers notes of white peaches, ripe Golden Delicious apples and Bosc pears with hints of allspice, shaved almonds and chalk dust. The palate nails it with intense yet elegantly played apple and pear flavors, accented with plenty of toast and spice, and gives a long, refreshing finish. 1,595 cases produced."
- Item #: i_276010Bottle Size: 750mlWhen the mercury starts its annual climb we know it's time for a wine just like this Shannon Ridge "High Elevation" Chardonnay. We need something refreshing and lively, not too heavy, loaded with flavor and easy on the wallet. This one has it all! We tried this a few months ago and were impressed with its across-the-board credentials. First, it's delicious. Second, the winery utilizes sustainable practices (including a flock of sheep that cleans the vineyards, removes the excess canopy, and reduces the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer). Third, it drinks way over its price niveau, giving Chardonnay and white wine lovers a ton of "bang for the buck" (while synthesizing multiple elements found in the Chardonnay spectrum to create a greater whole). And with summer icumen in, this is what we'll be sipping on the porch, by the pool, on the boat or beach.
The High Elevation Collection is a careful blend of three appellations within Lake County. The clusters from High Valley bring citrus and acidity, the Red Hills Appellation contributes lush fruit and ripe characteristics, and Big Valley grapes add grassiness and mineral tones to these lively wines. The ABV is 13.8% and the wine sees 6 months in a mix of French and American oak.
The nose is luscious and rich with hints of Golden Delicious apple, creme fraiche, vanilla and coconut with background notes of cedar, oak and a slight citrus zest. The palate reveals mixed tropical fruits, from pineapple to plantain, all enwrapped in a medium body that is both rich yet lively with enough acidity to keep it aloft and refreshing. Light brown spices and toasty touches lead to a lengthy finish of sweet fruit and a touch of cream and minerality. You may have seen any number of wine memes across your social media account utilizing this quote from Galileo Galilei: "Wine is sunlight, held together by water." This Chard, with its panoply of scents, flavors and texture, is a hella good bottle to put next to it.
- Item #: i_276210Bottle Size: 750mlSourced from vineyards that are sustainable or organic, Smoke Tree Chardonnay is anything but typical for California; with elegance and balance, it unites stone fruit and white flower aromatics, flavors of citrus and granny smith apple, and a finish that lingers with acidity and minerality.
- Item #: i_266260Bottle Size: 750mlBalanced and complex, the 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay layers fruit from several vineyards in the AVA, marrying the lush, bold ripeness of mid-valley with the richness and depth of Carneros. Bright, golden fruit opens the nose, rounded with notes of honey, caramel, baking spice and toast. A bold entry of lemons and ripe apple develops weight and viscosity as it evolves through the mouth. The barrel contribution leaves an almost-sweet almond impression across the finish. Displaying true Napa style, this well-poised wine is perfect for all occasions and will pair with a variety of foods.
- Item #: i_266470Bottle Size: 750mlStoller's Reserve Chardonnay is a blend of their oldest Dijon vines on the property, which were planted in 1995. Whole cluster pressed to mitigate phenolics, this wine was barrel fermented. This wine aged in French oak for 11-months before spending another 6-months in stainless steel. Expressing aromatics of lemon curd, brioche and flint, the palate meets the nose with a citrus vibrancy and reveals a luxurious mouthfeel due to extended lees contact and balanced use of oak.
- Item #: i_266550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Jeb Dunnuck: 96This is not the first time that Stonestreet Chardonnay has been on our Top North American White wine list, but for those of you who have tasted this glorious elixir in the past, you can see why it’s on our list once again! Stonestreet’s vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing, and she makes Chardonnays of exceptional concentration, purity and depth. The majority of this bottling is produced from the Hyde-Wente clone of Chardonnay, which, in our opinion, produces the more complex and nuanced Chardonnays on the market today!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard comes from the oldest vines on the estate, planted in 1982. Fermented in barrel and aged for 11 months in 47% new French oak, it is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal pink grapefruit, white peaches and Granny Smith apples with nuances of honeysuckle, lemon tart and praline. Medium to full-bodied, it explodes in the mouth with citrus and savory layers, with a gorgeous silkiness and loads of ginger and mineral sparks coming through on the finish. Wow! 813 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"More tropical mango and pineapple notes define the 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which is fresh, lively, and pretty on the palate. Both Chardonnays here have a terrific salinity, impeccable balance, and a great finish. This estate is from Wente and from vines planted in the 1980s. It's a seamless, elegant, structured, rocking Chardonnay that's going to age."
- Item #: i_266510Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 92Stonestreet Estate Vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give us a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing. Of the 5,100 acres that make up the Estate, only 900 are planted to grapes (235 individual vineyard blocks) while the remaining land retains its natural biodiversity and abounds with streambeds and ancient oaks, providing a habitat to cougars, owls and black bears.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is a terrific introduction to the Stonestreet Chardonnays. Citrus, apricot, mint and a dash of new oak add nuance to this finely cut mountain Chardonnay. The Estate Chardonnay is another wine that delivers serious quality for the money. Silky and textured, the 2016 hits all the right notes. What a gorgeous wine it is."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is another wine sourced from higher elevation sites and was barrel fermented and aged. It offers a classic style in its baked apples, spice, honeycomb, and marzipan profile. Deep, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and textured, it's a class act and should keep for 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_274660Bottle Size: 750mlA very pale-golden color, tinted with green, announces this wine. The fruit aromas are of lemon and apple. The spice aromatics are toward cinnamon and cedar. There’s a bit of honeycomb as well as a smoked almond note. The minerality is present, but subdued. The palate is soft and pure silk.
- Item #: i_274770Bottle Size: 750MLThis is their famous Trinitas "Butterscotch Bomb"; a perfect marriage of high-quality fruit and American wood barrels. The toast on the barrels is prominent, giving a "creme Brule" character to the nose. Underneath the toast, you get the intense tropical fruit - pear, peach, lemon zest and citrus. The rich mid-palate, explodes with cinnamon toast, cream and butterscotch – which is a contribution to the length of time spent in the Oak Barrels. In its own way, it's as bold and expressive as a Cabernet. It's got so much presence it can easily pass as an aperitif or carefully matched with food just as rich - perhaps pounded veal cutlets, an Italian risotto, or plump-cooked chicken breasts in a cream sauce.
- Item #: i_276650Bottle Size: 750mlEnjoy flavors and aromas of lemon curd, green apple, tangy pineapple and baked brioche. Spicy overtones reminiscent of clove, nutmeg and a kiss of vanilla add complexity. Forward fruit on the entry with richness and a slight creaminess on the mid-palate and fresh, lingering fruit flavors and mouthwatering acidity in the finish.