- 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_200290Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "Vibrant and rich with enticing aromatics that lead to a firm core of pear, apple and apricot flavors shaded by light spicy oak. On the palate, the wine offers layer upon layer of lingering flavors. The wine highlights varietal purity, elegance and a freshness on the palate."
- 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_275937Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94People in the wine world always want to talk about the "new kid on the block", but what needs to be remembered is there are a few of the "old guards" that will go toe-to-toe with those "young guns" and give them a run for their money! For decades, Beringer has been making phenomenal, world-class wines utilizing time-honored techniques that are still used today by virtually all the high-quality producers…even by those "young guns"!
Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay highlights the richness and complexity of this varietal and has been one of the benchmark Chardonnays since its first vintage in 1978. Just to give you an idea of the quality, let's take a look at the scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for the past few years:
2017 Vintage - 93 Points
2016 Vintage - 90-92 Points
2015 Vintage - 91 Points
2012 Vintage - 93 Points
2011 Vintage - 95 Points
2010 Vintage - 87 Points
2009 Vintage - 93 Points
2008 Vintage - 94 Points
2007 Vintage - 92 Points
2006 Vintage - 92 Points
These are scores that most producers receive every so often…but not with this consistency. This is one of the reasons why Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay is such in demand. And how do they do it? Well, winemaker Laurie Hook ferments the juice in French oak barrels to enhance the natural richness in the wine. Weekly lees stirring enhanced the toasty notes, and integrated the oak flavors for an overall balance. All of the wine was put through malolactic fermentation to encourage a lush creaminess. After 9 months aging, Laurie chose the most expressive lots and blended them to create this richly layered wine.
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The classic Napa release from this estate, the 2018 Chardonnay Private Reserve has lots of beautiful golden apple, caramelized citrus, toasted nut, and hints of acacia flowers. With a rich, textured style, it still stays beautifully fresh, balanced, and layered. It's a brilliant effort."
- 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 2018 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_244010Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 94It is hard to find a more iconic Napa Valley Chardonnay than Chateau Montelena. Since winning the white wine category at the famous Judgement of Paris Tasting in 1976, Chateau Montelena has been winning over drinkers, restauranteurs, and collectors for over 40 years! Their Chardonnay is not too light, yet is refreshing. It shows notes of oak ageing, yet is not overpowering. Chateau Montelena walks the tightrope of balance, ensuring that its complexities and nuances may be enjoyed by ALL lovers of Chardonnay.
The 2017 just might be the best rendition of their Chardonnay we’ve had in almost a decade! It has earned 94 points from Antonio Galloni, and the wine opens with fresh peach, apricot, and honeydew amidst citrus blossom, rose water, cinnamon, and floral characteristics. Lush, viscous, and driven by lemon curd, the palate leans toward creaminess but with enough bright acid, green apple, and toast to bring balance and finesse. Concentrated and persistent, again stone fruit appears, along with a hint of white pepper and plenty of orange zest.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Montelena's 2017 Chardonnay is bright, focused and tightly wound, with tons of citrus peel, orchard fruit and floral character. Medium in body, with terrific energy underpinning the fruit, the 2017 is a winner. Picking early and blocking the malolactic fermentation yields a finely sculpted, nuanced Chardonnay long on class. I loved it."
- Item #: i_214030Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "A long, cool growing season, ideal for cool climate varieties, delivered wines of structure, focus and shimmering elegance. Our 2018 Estate Chardonnay delights with notes of hazelnut, honeysuckle, apricot and quince. The hints of brioche and vanilla surf a wave of citrusy, bright fruit and a long, creamy finish."
- 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_216814Bottle Size: 750mlBoth complex and alluring, this radiant Chardonnay opens up with aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and lime, as well as hints of white flowers and sweet French oak. On the palate, it is round and silky, with lively acidity and abundant minerality balancing the underlying richness and adding poise to the lush flavors of apple, peach and creamy lemon curd.
- 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 2018 Chardonnay displays a luminous pale gold, with green rim in the glass. A lovely nose of Meyer lemon, grapefruit zest, ginger, and fresh pineapple supported by verbena and coastal rainfall and is wonderfully complex and inviting. On the palate a delightfully broad entry leads to a viscous and rich midpalate with lovely weight. All of the richness is framed by fresh acids that complement the texture. Pineapple and Asian pears dominate the flavor profile, echoing on a long, persistent finish. Such delicious drinking now but restraint will be required if you are to realize the potential of the 2018 Chardonnay until 2030.
- 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_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_222280Bottle Size: 750MLFontanella Family's 2019 Chardonnay delivers the heft and beautiful fruit that consistently make this the Chardonnay for red wine-lovers! Meyer Lemon zest and pineapple on the nose invite you into a round mouthfeel packed with honeysuckle, baked apples and cinnamon, toasted marshmallow, and lemon meringue – all balanced with the trademark Mt. Veeder minerality and crisp acidity that cleanse and refresh your palate after each sip.
- Item #: i_274965Bottle Size: 375ML**Please note, this is a half sized bottleBright 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_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: 750mlFreemark 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
- Item #: i_224040Bottle Size: 750MLWinery's Notes: "At Frog's Leap, we have been fortunate enough to work with the same Chardonnay vineyard ever since our first vintage in 1985. Planted by the renowned Truchard family in 1979, these vines are deeply rooted in the decomposed shale and sandstone that are characteristic of the steeply-sloped hillsides of Carneros, and lend themselves perfectly to the balanced, restrained style that is our signature. Held for less than 5 days in new French oak barrels, the wine is racked at the peak of its fermentation to concrete vessels, where it sits, untouched and sur lie, for up to 10 months. Grown in shale and aged in stone, our Chardonnay boasts incredible freshness and a distinct mineral edge that speaks directly to its origins."
- Item #: i_226912Bottle Size: 750mlThis 2018 Chardonnay opens to exuberant tropical aromatics of pineapple, green mango and ripe peach, with underlying notes of dried herbs and Madagascar vanilla. With this, it bears witness to a warm growing season that saw two significant heat events. While the grapes for this wine were picked earlier than usual in order to maintain acidity and freshness, the tropical aromatics are accentuated by the warmer temperatures of this vintage. While it is nimble on the attack, this wine quickly builds into a lush and fresh mid-palate, revisiting the tropical note from earlier, as well as adding citrus and lemon zest. A balanced acidity frames this impression perfectly and carries this wine into a long and complex finish that is both harmonious and vibrant.
- Item #: i_227330Bottle Size: 750MLLong, cool fermentation in a mixture of old and new barrels gives this Chardonnay layers of fruitiness and complexity that result in a wine that is very enjoyable when young or after several years of bottle age. This method of fermentation, in conjunction with whole cluster pressing and "sur lie" aging add layers of toastiness and creaminess to the wine. Together these components meld together harmoniously to create a balanced wine that is both lively and rich in aroma and flavor.
- Item #: i_229830Bottle Size: 750MLThe Heitz name is so deeply ingrained in the culture of Cabernet connoisseurs that some people are surprised to discover we have been making Chardonnay since the winery was founded in 1961. Sleek and vibrant with the invigorating aroma of juicy pear and lemon blossoms. It's a delicious wine delivering tiers of citrus flavor and the slight tanginess.
- Item #: i_236700Bottle Size: 750mlThe nose displays big ripe fruit with lovely oak and light buttery white peach with vanilla, and a hint of pineapple. A rich and elegant palate, clean and balanced. Nectarine and macaroon flavors persist into the long finish.