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_200720Bottle Size: 750mlAngeline's Reserve Pinot Noir is the embodiment of all their favorite characteristics from some of the most acclaimed Pinot Noir growing regions in the state. Floral and spice aromatics from Mendocino County, and bright red fruit with integrated, soft tannins from the Russian River Valley and Carneros, come together to make this beautifully balanced Pinot Noir.
Angeline takes great in pride in crafting wines that truly represent their varietals and appellations, and 2016 made this goal easily acheivable. This dense, sophisticated Pinot Noir boastfully over-delivers aromas of fresh strawberries, wild raspberries, and spicy cherry cola. The bold, yet resolved palate has a clean, well-balanced acidity that ties up neatly with a complementary cream and caramel finish.
- Item #: i_200330Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94The focus of this two person operation is on small lot, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, as well as several other varieties uncommon in Northern Californian vineyards. Sites are carefully chosen and are generally on the cooler end of the spectrum for the planted varieties. Collaboration with dedicated and passionate growers is paramount in the farming of these sites.
Duncan and Nathan grew up around winemaking in the Napa Valley. Nathan is a second generation cooper and personally builds all of the French oak barrels that are utilized in the ageing of all Arnot-Roberts wines. Over the years Duncan has worked making wine in the Napa Valley in wineries like, Caymus, Groth, Acacia, Kongsgaard. Total production of Arnot-Roberts is around 2,000 cases per year with thirteen individual wines.
The Watson Ranch Chardonnay comes from one of the southernmost vineyards in Napa Valley AVA. The vines were planted in 1990 and dry farmed in clay over limestone with a view of San Pablo Bay. The wine was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel by native yeasts and aged in neutral French oak barrels.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Duncan Arnot describes 2017 as a year with a longer growing season than 2016, which goes to show how different the growing season was in Sonoma relative to Napa Valley, which so often tends to dominate the discussion of California wines. In tasting, the 2017s here all show terrific energy and complexity. Moreover, the combination of intense summer heat and the cooler sites Arnot and Nathan Roberts favor, yielded a set of positively stunning wines.
"The 2017 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is a gorgeous wine. Apricot, chamomile, dried flowers, sage and dried pear are all laced together in this super-expressive, inviting Chardonnay. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2017, as it is quite closed today. Bright saline notes add freshness and zip to this super-expressive Chardonnay."
- Item #: i_200400Bottle Size: 750MLBurgundian in sensibility but with California style is one way of describing Jim Clendenen's Chardonnays- Structure and restraint melded with bountiful opulence is another. In the glass, buttery brioche marries with tropical fruits in an irresistible elixir that will leave the bottle drained before you know it.
- Item #: i_200830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-99 POINTS - "CIX stands for "109" as this block, planted in 2008 to Montrachet clones, was originally called "parcel 109" when they purchased it. The 2017 Chardonnay CIX Estate has an incredibly intense nose of lemon peel, green mango, fresh pears and powdered ginger with suggestions of baking bread, chopped cashews, lightly buttered popcorn and crème brulee. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and bold with a racy line carrying the citrus and savory layers to an incredibly long finish."
- 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_202980Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes: "This is what you get when you blend three impeccably farmed Chardonnay vineyards together. You get Fuji Apple, lemony salt water taffy, and a delicate herbal note that lies somewhere between spearmint and cumin. If you stainless ferment it at cool temperatures, it all gets delivered to the senses like a laser beam. The three vineyards are mine, Donnachadh (pronounced Donnaka), and Peake, so it doesn’t get much more Sta. Rita Hills than that."
- Item #: i_202570Bottle Size: 750MLJack Niven pioneered winegrape planting with Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley in 1973. Not the bystander type, his wife Catharine soon after began a project that grew into what is now Baileyana Winery. In the mid 1990s, their two sons, James and John, purchased property next door, and expanded Paragon Vineyard. They designed and planted these new blocks with select clones, varieties and rootstocks specific to the site. They names this section Firepeak, in homage of th extinct volcanoes in the area, and the resulting volcanic soils.
A bright but complex Chardonnay, this wine has upfront flavors of crisp pear, lemon zest, pineapple, and hints of creamy vanilla. Aromas of citrus and tropical flavors highlight the complexity of flavors that run throughout. The wine is smoothly textured and is well balanced from start to finish.
- 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_232390Bottle Size: 750mlOwners John and Michelle (JaM) Truchard have created quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. With the name of their wine label being called JaM, they employed the help of winemaker Rob Lloyd to produce a rich, jammy style of Cabernet. Well, that wine was a huge hit, and since Rob knew a thing or two about making Chardonnays, it only made sense that this white wine should be called "Butter". As the name implies, this is a rich, buttery style of Chardonnay laced with aromas of baked lemons and mandarin oranges mingle with a hint of spice and smoke. The palate begins with crisp pineapple, bright citrus and ripe melon while a soft creaminess rounds out the finish. This Chardonnay is ready for immediate enjoyment and is suited to a wide variety of foods including white fish, smoked salmon and creamy pasta dishes.
- Item #: i_207600Bottle Size: 750mlChardonnay grapes grown in the bottom half of the valley tend to produce rich, ripe, elegantly structured wines that are delicious on release, but also age well in the bottle; this gem is no exception! And while 75% is fermented in French oak, only 11% goes through malolactic fermentation in order to produce a full-bodied wine that's food friendly. The nose offers vivid, creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of beeswax and mineral. Full-bodied and vibrant on the palate, with bright, intense, apple, citrus and melon flavors, Cakebread's 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay is remarkably persistent on the palate, culminating in a long finish showcasing pleasing spice, yeast and mineral tones. Released soon after bottling, it will hit its stride after 6-8 months and reward 5-7 years' aging.
- 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 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 crème 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_212020Bottle Size: 750MLThe cool growing region of Carneros allows Clos Pegase to keep the verve and complexity in their Chardonnay and delivers just the right amount of naturally bright acidity that works well when paired with the finest French oak. Clear lemon yellow in the glass. Upfront aromas of peach, melon, cut straw and bakers spice. A smooth delivery on the palate displays flavors of stone fruit, cantaloupe and pears with subtle notes of brioche and toasted coconut. The acid is bright and maintains a pleasant balance in the wine.
- Item #: i_200310Bottle Size: 750mlThe David Arthur Estate is located high on Pritchard Hill, on the eastern side of the Napa Valley. The rough mountain terrain and rocky red soils provide ideal growing conditions for wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1978, Donald Long and his 28 year old son David began the epic job of building roads, clearing land and finally planting wine grapes. Although David lacked a formal viticultural education, he learned hands-on by working in the vineyards and cellars of local wineries such as the Chappellet and Joseph Phelps. The first vintage of Chardonnay was harvested in 1985, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon in the nineties. As his experience and knowledge of the land grew, David learned the ability of these hills to grow the very finest wine grapes. Today, with the help of a highly insightful team, David Arthur continues to cultivate rich concentrated wine grapes that in turn help them craft distinctive and memorable wines.
Chardonnay is now the anomaly, as David Arthur has sourced their Chardonnay grapes from the Oak Knoll District and Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa Valley for nearly a decade, and cherish their relationships with these independent growers that offer small parcels and unique clonal selections. The David Arthur Chardonnay style offers a wonderful balance of new world fruit expression and restrained winemaking technique.
A slight green-golden hue offers bright and illuminated aromas of kiwi, Asian pear and Golden Delicious apple, and white peach, citrus blossom followed by light hints of toasted almonds. The palate is soft/plush and full throttle with layers of citrus, candied apple, poached pear and finishes with a subtle minerality
- Item #: i_220630Bottle Size: 750mlThe Hayne's Vineyard was planted in 1966 by Pat and Duncan Haynes and represents one of the oldest Chardonnay producing vineyards in Napa Valley. Planted to Wente clones, the vineyard sits in the shadow of Mt. George, the once-active volcano responsible for Coombsville's distinctive layer of soils. The grapes are whole-cluster pressed to 20% concrete egg, 20% new Frenck oak and the remainder to neutral puncheon and barrique. The juice undergoes native yeast fermentation and ages sur-lie for 11 months. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
- Item #: i_219930Bottle Size: 750MLAlways the "darling" of Chardonnays, Far Niente Chardonnay is a blend of superlative Napa Valley vineyards, many of which are located in a little-known area called Coombsville: a cool growing region nestled in the rolling hills east of thecity of Napa. While entirely barrel-fermented, it doesn't go through the typical secondary fermentation, thus keeping itsrefreshing acidity. Perhaps this is why it appeals to such a broad spectrum of consumers!
A delicious wine in one of the most eye-catching bottles, this wine greets with forward fruits, layered by peach and tropical notes combined with rose petal and toasty allspice. The balance between the oak and fruit are completely seamless. Full bodied and rich, creamyhints of minerality complement the sweet fruit throughout. The finish is very long, lingering and beautifully textured.
- Item #: i_249210Bottle Size: 750mlSince 1989 the Parker family-owned and -operated winery has produced wines of superior quality and value. This handcrafted wine represents the best of what Santa Barbara County Chardonnay has to offer. Flavors of ripe apple, butter, lemon, and melon are perfectly balanced with light toasty oak on the palate.
- Item #: i_222170Bottle Size: 750mlAromas are concentrated and complex in Foley Johnson's 2017 Carneros Chardonnay. Notes of grilled peach, pear, buttered croissant, and vanilla set the stage for a rich, and full-bodied Chardonnay. The aromas expand on the palate with mouthwatering flavors of pear, apple crisp, honeysuckle, toasted coconut, and vanilla wafer. This wine's balance and structure coupled with its bright acidity makes it an age-worthy wine to be enjoyed for several years. Enjoy this beauty with a succulent roasted chicken and wild mushroom risotto.
- Item #: i_274436Bottle Size: 750mlBright and lively; it opens with aromas of lemon/lime zest, candied Meyer lemon, yellow nectarine, raw ginger and dried Mirabelle plum. These fresh aromas are countered by vanilla, butterscotch, spice cake and creamy butter giving rise to a vibrant and harmonious combination. The palate is crisp, mellow and full; bursting with stone fruit, green apple, and Asian pear while being laced throughout with gentle toasted oak aromas of vanilla and spice.
- Item #: i_223710Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Freemark Abbey is one of Napa's hallmark producers with a rich history dating back to pre-prohibition days. They were also one of the 12 Wineries featured in "The 1976 Judgment of Paris" tasting where California won every single category, which catapulted Napa Valley onto the world stage as a premier wine-producing region. Ted Edwards has been at the helm as winemaker for over 3 decades crafting these classically-styled wines while garnering rave reviews from the top critics year after year. This producer is also no stranger to our Hi-Time Cellars top 10 wines of the year feature we do every holiday season which should tell you how our staff feels about the level of quality, commitment and consistency!
CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE WINERY
WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay (no malolactic fermentation) offers notes of fresh pineapple, honeydew melon and lemon tart with touches of allspice, shaved almonds and lanolin. Medium to full-bodied, the fruit hits the palate with amazing freshness and vivacity, sporting loads of citrus and spice notions and finishing long."
- Item #: i_228600Bottle Size: 750mlHahn SLH Chardonnay has crisp aromas of honeysuckle, vanilla, hints of citrus and banana. Full bodied flavors with viscous, round mouth-feel of citrus balances the crisp finish.
- 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."