- Item #: i_200330Bottle Size: 750mlThe 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.
- "The 2018 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 2018, as it is quite closed today. Bright saline notes add freshness and zip to this super-expressive Chardonnay."
- Item #: i_200430Bottle Size: 750mlThe Los Alamos Vineyard is roughly 500 planted acres, most of which is on flat bottomland of the Los Alamos Valley that is sandwiched between the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley appellations. The best grapes from this vineyard are found to the north on the gentle slopes of the hills. Au Bon Climat sources grapes grown at the top of the wind-swept slopes of the Solomon Hills. On this hilltop the wind and shallower soils keep the yields low and the grapes struggle to ripen. Even though it is a struggle, the small crop ripens early. This is the first Chardonnay to arrive at the winery for the last 10 years. The small crop on these hardy vines is concentrated.
- Item #: i_202680Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 90This is the second label for Talley Vineyards. The goal with the Bishop's Peak Chardonnay is to produce wine that reflects the distinct aroma and flavor of cool climate Chardonnay in the purest way possible. Consequently no new oak barrels are used for fermentation or aging. The 2016 vintage was produced entirely from Oliver's Vineyard in the Edna Valley, predominantly in stainless steel with some neutral French oak barrels. The 2016 vintage of Bishop's Peak Chardonnay is light straw in appearance and reveals aromas of lemon, white peach, and jasmine. On the palate, intriguing notes of orange creamsicle, pear juice, and lime zest are enhanced by a chalky minerality. Try pairing this refreshing chardonnay with oysters on the half shell or linguini with clams.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 90 POINTS - "(raised in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak barrels) Limpid yellow. Fresh pear, melon, orange zest and a hint of chamomile on the nose; a subtle hint of leesiness emerges slowly. Juicy and round on the palate, offering ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors accented by a smoky nuance. Silky and focused on the finish, which shows good lift, spicy cut, and very good, floral-driven persistence."
- 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_222500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 92The Gran Moraine vineyard was planted in 2005 to several different Dijon clones. Located five miles west of the town of Carlton this site is one of the more westerly vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and therefore subject to the cooling afternoon breezes that roll off the Pacific. A variety of slopes, aspects, row direction, and plant material offer a wide diversity of blocks to choose from when blending this Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "Pale yellow. Fresh pear, melon and lemon curd aromas are complemented by hints of white flowers, vanilla and buttered toast. Fleshy and seamless in the mouth, offering juicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors that tighten up and pick up a minerally nuance with aeration. Finishes with firm grip, a repeating floral note and strong, spicy persistence."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "TThe 2017 Chardonnay Yamhill-Carlton has a wonderfully open, inviting nose of honey-drizzled hazelnuts, apple pie, clotted cream, baked peaches, allspice and crushed stone. The medium-bodied palate is creamy textured and savory in character with juicy acidity and a long, textured finish. This will benefit from one more year in bottle. 2,303 cases produced."
- Item #: i_228800Bottle Size: 750mlHartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast. Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of their vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings and the varietals they use. "Character through adversity" is an expression that they believe applies to people and grapevines and surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.
The Russian River Valley is one of the best places in the world for growing Chardonnay. The cooling winds from the Pacific Ocean spread throughout the area, and help to moderate the temperatures throughout the day, whereas areas just to the east are exceptionally warmer. Also, the soils are a mix of sand, clay, and silt. The clay brings richness to a wine, while the sand brings more flowered aromatics and brightness in the wine. If you ask us, this sounds like the recipe for Chardonnay perfection!
- Item #: i_245420Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Mount Eden is one of California's first truly boutique wineries. After prohibition, a gentleman by the name of Martin Ray began producing wine from this area using obscure grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at a time when inferior grapes were the norm. His wines quickly became known as being some of the best in the state. He then sold that property, and purchased a superior site "just up the hill". That new property is Mount Eden, and to this day, some of those Mount Eden Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are some of the best California has ever produced!
Flash-forward to the present, and the wines are just as good as they always were. It is not uncommon for the Chardonnays to get somewhere between 94-96 points, and the current release shows the same amazing qualities found in many of the Grand Crus from Burgundy!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay melds together the natural raciness of the year with the classicism that is such a Mount Eden signature. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and tropical accents give the 2017 its flashy, racy personality and yet on the palate the wine is quite structured and very nicely proportioned. The 2017 finishes with tremendous weight, oiliness and aromatic intensity. It can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least a few years. Today, it is absolutely fabulous. New oak is 50%."
- Item #: i_245490Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94What do you do when you are one of the most historic, highly-praised wineries in California making some of the best scoring Chardonnays? If you are Mount Eden, then you do it again!
Mount Eden is one of California's first truly boutique wineries. After prohibition, a gentleman by the name of Martin Ray began producing wine from this area using "obscure" grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at a time when inferior grapes were the norm. His wines quickly became known as being some of the best in the state. He then sold that property and purchased a superior site "...just up the hill." That new property is what he named Mount Eden, and it is not uncommon for the Chardonnays to earn 95+ point scores from the critics, and these are some of the best Chardonnays made in California!
The Mount Eden wines show the same amazing qualities found in many of the Grand Crus from Burgundy; minerality, complexity, ripe orchard fruit, but restrained use of new oak. In addition to their estate vineyards, they purchase a small amount of grapes from Edna Valley, a cool-climate region in California's Central Coast. Edna Valley has one of the longest growing seasons in the world, which slows ripening and helps to develop great nuances of flavor while retaining its elegant nature. This particular vineyard is the oldest in the Edna Valley, and yields are equivalent to those whose wines are 2x-3x times this price!
Mount Eden makes this wine in essentially the same manner as their estate fruit; grapes are pressed without crushing, and barrel fermented in French Burgundy barrels. This year, Mount Eden's Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay has received a lofty 94-point score from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, making this one of the best domestic Chardonnay values we've seen in years! Come and get it, while we still have it in stock!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Wolff Vineyard from Edna Valley is pure, energetic and fresh this vintage. The nose is lovely, loaded with floral perfume and ripe citrus fruits. The palate is silky and expansive with a shimmering mineral character and a long, pure finish. It improved over the two to three days it was open and will benefit from a long decant. 4,256 cases produced."
- Item #: i_252770Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay (Fort Ross-Seaview) is soft, creamy and wonderfully inviting, with notes of lemon confit, white flowers, white pepper and mint. The Fort-Ross Seaview Chardonnay - made entirely from Martinelli's Charles Ranch - takes the place of the former Sonoma Coast bottling. The 2018 finishes with terrific freshness and nuance. This is a gorgeous wine."
- 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."