- 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_214000Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Dehlinger has long been recognized for its Russian River Valley Chardonnays, which are known for their balance, fresh acidity, and unctuous flavor. Today, Dehlinger produces a single Estate Chardonnay bottling each vintage, originating from their eight acres of Chardonnay vines planted between 1975 and 1988. These old vines, grown in the region's classic goldridge series soils, are grafted to the California heritage "Wente" clone, which produces small clusters and berries and has a notable minerality and almost oily viscosity.
Dehlinger's Chardonnays are crafted using traditional techniques which preserve the flavor and elegance of the variety. At harvest, the grapes are picked at night, brought cold into the winery and "whole cluster pressed" to extract the highest quality juice. From there, the juice is fermented in French oak barrels using native yeasts. The wine gains further complexity through malolactic fermentation and a year of aging on the lees. Dehlinger has been bottling its Chardonnays "Unfiltered" since the late 1990s in order to capture the full flavor potential and most pleasing texture possible.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Not surprisingly, in 2017 Dehlinger's Chardonnay Estate is quite racy and luscious. Orchard fruit, citrus confit, and wild flowers take on an extra level of sheer richness, while tropical accents add to the real feeling of exoticism."
- Item #: i_216070Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Diatom Bar-M Vineyard is sourced from the stunning contiguous blocks of clone 76 Chardonnay planted over 20 years ago in the Los Alamos region of Santa Barbara County. The loam soil lends itself to fruit with a bit more flesh and weight - perfectly suited to the Diatom model.
The juice was fermented at very low temperature in small stainless-steel tanks, coupled with inhibited malo-lactic and short hose transit ensure precision and focus. Aromas of lemon, citrus blossom, and wet sand lead to flavors of sea spray and white peach, coupled with a precise and balanced texture.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "From a site in Los Alamos, the 2017 Chardonnay Bar M is perfumed, lifted and wonderfully gracious in feel. Citrus and floral notes abound in a very pretty, expressive Chardonnay that shows the aromatic style that is so common here. White flowers, mint and saline overtones add closing layers to this pretty and inviting Chardonnay from Greg Brewer's Diatom label."
- 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_216080Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92+Pinot Noir takes the spotlight in the Oregon wine world, that's just a fact. And when it comes to their white wines, Pinot Gris is center stage. That being said, it is this producer's Chardonnay has stunned us the past few vintages, and we think it's been the best white from Oregon in several years! Named for winemaker Veronique Drouhin-Boss' son, Arthur is produced entirely from estate fruit and is handmade at DDO's landmark gravity flow winery in the Dundee Hills. Their Chardonnay vines were planted in 1992 and are 100% Dijon clones, some of the oldest such plantings in Oregon.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Arthur was aged 10 months in about 15% new oak and has pure aromas of golden apples, quince, toast, honey, almonds and notions of elderflower, hay and chamomile. The light to medium-bodied palate is silky and delicate with mouthwatering acidity and a long, lively finish. This restrained, elegant Chardonnay will benefit from another year in bottle."
- Item #: i_216120Bottle Size: 375mlWine Advocate: 91**Please note, this is a half sized bottleDrouhin's Chardonnay Arthur is produced from 100% Dijon clones, grown on the Drouhin Family Estate in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. First planted in 1990, the low yields of these vines and their early ripening ability have been a perfect match for the climate and soils. Arthur, named for Veronique's son, is a wine that captures the bright, crisp acidity and mineral character of the vineyard, balanced with richness and lovely length.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate Arthur has a lovely open nose of red apple skin and yellow pear with nuances of tangy Greek yogurt, toast and lemon pith. Light to medium-bodied, it has good concentration of tree fruits in the mouth with touches of honey and white blossoms with great juicy acidity, finishing long with a touch of texture. 3,375 cases produced."
- Item #: i_216380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Polished and elegantly opulent, with pear and apple flavors, accented by spice notes and finishing on a lingering steely detail. Drink now through 2020. 3,691 cases made."
- Item #: i_215880Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93Dragonette strives to create Chardonnays of textural purity, complexity and balance with classic tension. Complexity and balance are achieved by meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard, where each vineyard block is managed for appropriate canopy and proper yields. Tension and textural purity begin in the vineyard with low yields and balanced acidity at harvest. Native yeast fermentation in clean oak cooperage and aging on the lees aid in preserving the purity of texture. Dragonette ages their wines on their lees, without racking, and constant topping. Moreover, each wine is bottled only after sufficient time in barrel to permit ideal evolution. The SRH blend is constructed from these individual components selected for diversity of site and soils to create complexity and harmony. This year, the wine is a blend of fruit from Donnachadh, Spear, and Bentrock vineyards, which are all organically or sustainably farmed.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Leading off the Chardonnays, the 2017 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills comes from multiple sites in the Sta. Rita Hills and was aged 15 months in 10% new French oak. It offers a classic Burgundian style in its ripe buttered orchard fruits, brioche, and toasty oak aromas and flavors, yet has plenty of classic Sta. Rita Hills salinity and minerality. Rounded and nicely textured, with good acidity, drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is lush, full-bodied and decidedly extroverted, and yet it retains quite a bit of freshness for such a big wine. Orange peel, almond, spice and tropical overtones all run through this creamy, voluptuous Chardonnay. This is easily one of the more extroverted 2017 Chardonnays I tasted. Fruit sources are Donnachadh, Spear, Rita's Crown, Radian and Bentrock. These Chardonnay lots spent 16-18 months in barrel."
- Item #: i_220430Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 94ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach comes from the Dumol estate plus fruit from Ritchie, Charles Heintz, Lorenzo and Dutton vineyards. It offers gentle scents of honey, oats, nuts and dried white flowers over a peachy core. The medium-bodied palate has an understated savory character, balancing yeasty and mineral touches and bright acidity, finishing long and mineral-driven."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "A wine that goes out to distribution only (as opposed to the winery mailing list), the 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach is a blend of the Ritchie, Heintz, Lorenzo, Dutton, and DuMOL Estate vineyards and was brought up in 35% new French oak. It has a classic Russian River Valley vibe in its rich orchard fruits, pear, buttered citrus, and brioche aromas and flavors. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied wine that has the fleshy, supple style of the vintage yet stays firmly in the DuMOL stylistic camp with its vibrant acidity and focused finish. Drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years or so."
- Item #: i_218740Bottle Size: 750MLEl Molino was established back in 1871. The winery, along with the historic label, was resurrected in 1981 by Reg Oliver who focused on incomparable Chardonnay and distinctive Pinot from an appellation admittedly more famed for Cabernet Sauvignon. He left a legacy of environmental stewardship and enthusiasm for Burgundy varietals that has not been lost on his daughter Lily and her husband, Jon Berlin (Jon & Lily pictured top right). Lilly moved to the winery with the family when she was nine, and since child labor was never frowned upon, there was a lot to be learned by the age-old tradition of apprenticeship under her father. Lily uses these time-honored techniques to fashion a Chardonnay of impeccable balance that can age for decades!
El Molino's 2017 Chardonnay shows expressive lemon oil, Tahitian lime and peach skin over wet stone, talc and sea air. A round but supple entry on the palate leads into a rich viscous mid-palate framed by fresh acids, providing cut and presence to the intense flavors of pineapple, melon, and peach. The finish is long and persistent and very fresh. A powerful ageable wine that wil drink well for many years to come.
- 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_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_232540Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91Seven Springs Vineyard was planted in 1984 by Al MacDonald on an east-facing slope, in the iron-rich and rocky, volcanic soils of the Eola-Amity Hills. Al planted what would become one of Oregon's most recognized vineyards who sold fruit to many benchmark Oregon producers. The vineyard's position opposite of the windy Van Duzer Corridor mitigates hot, sunny afternoons in the Willamette Valley with cool winds from the Pacific. As valley temperatures increase throughout the day, warm air rises, replaced by cooling winds flooding in from the Pacific through the Van Duzer gap and across the vineyard providing extended hang time at harvest. The vineyard has always been dry farmed, it's certified LIVE and was converted to biodynamic viticulture in 2007.
At the helm of Seven Springs is Rajat Parr, world renowned wine sommelier and Sashi Moorman, known for his passion for winemaking and viticulture. Together, these two bring an insurmountable amount of knowledge leading Seven Springs into its 4th decade producing outstanding wines at an affordable price point!
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Refined and elegantly layered, with floral apple, spiced lees and mineral notes that glide along a structured finish. Drink now through 2021. 1,500 cases made."
- Item #: i_274300Bottle Size: 750mlThe Chardonnay estate is a barrel selection. Since each barrel ferments with its own yeast and ages at its own rate, each barrel becomes very distinct. Before bottling, Jason tastes each barrel. Those barrels which speak to the longest aging potential become the Original Vines Reserve. This estate, on the other hand, is blended from those barrels which offer the most immediate pleasure.
- Item #: i_220760Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94JEB 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_220630Bottle Size: 750mlCoombsville's beloved Haynes Vineyard was planted upon beds of rich, volcanic alluvial soils in back in the late 1960s, making it one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards within the Napa Valley. Old Wente clones have been grafted upon St. George rootstock. After harvest, the grapes are fermented with native yeast, which follows with full malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 11 months sur lies in 15% new French oak, 20% concrete egg, and 10% stainless steel.
Aromatically the wine has nuances of white flowers such as jasmine, as well as a touch of lemon curd and an underlying salinity. On the palate, the wine is beautifully full-bodied with just barely ripened stone fruits and serious longevity.
- Item #: i_220660Bottle Size: 750mlThe Hudson Vineyard was planted upon beds of Haire loam soil back in the 1980s by a Texas expat by the name of Lee Hudson. Located at the southern tip of the Mayacamas Mountain range, the vineyard is 20 miles north of the San Pablo Bay exposing it to the classically Napa diurnal shift of foggy morning and extremely warm afternoons. The wines undergo native yeast fermentation before aging for 11 months in a combination of roughly 15% new French oak and 20% concrete egg.
Aromatically the wine is flinty, with notes of grapefruit and as well as tropical fruits. On the palate, the wine has ripe yellow fruits, a touch of pie crust and a firm backbone of sleek acidity.
- 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!
Classic Far Niente style with aromas of grilled citrus, melon and honeysuckle with hints of white fig, gardenia and toasted hazelnuts, background of mild toasted oak that adds supportive warmth and richness. A silky entry builds on the palate with a rich texture that continues to evolve. Possessing great structure and length, a sweet core of melon and citrus is supported by white floral and toasted vanilla and baking spice notes. The broad mid palate comes back together with a long bright finish.
- Item #: i_220510Bottle Size: 750mlThis smooth, rich Chardonnay is the wine for you if your palate tends toward the “buttery” and “oaky” side.
It would be hard to hear the name Ferrari- Carano and not think of world-class wine. From a small, 30-acre plot of grapes purchased in 1979, to today’s 1,500 acres in six different appelations, Ferrari-Carano owns some of the finest properties in all of California. Their wines are recognized by the critics and are listed on the menus of some of the finest restaurants in the world. While tasting through the current lineup at a recent luncheon, it was their Reserve Chardonnay that truly garnered the limelight.
Coming from their property in Carneros, the long, cool growing season matures the fruit slowly, giving it plenty of time to gain in richness and depth while retaining a higher acidity and tighter structure than fruit in warmer climate. Combine this with the wine’s aging in a high percentage in new oak, and you get a Chardonnay that is both fresh, lively, yet rich and decadent. This wine entices with aromas of quince, apple, cinnamon, caramel, citrus, butter, vanilla, and graham cracker complemented by elegant, upfront flavors of pear, peach, and a lingering, toasted oak finish.