- Item #: i_204330Bottle Size: 750MLFor those of you who are familiar with the Benziger line, you know by now that this family produces some of the best values from Sonoma and are fanatics amongst the wine world’s Green movements. In fact, the Benziger Family has been for years working on converting their vineyards to organic practices and recently has recieved for many of their vineyards “Certified Sustainable” designations.
- Item #: i_210105Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleSince 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 creme 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_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 2018 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 2018 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 creme 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: 93Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard has a very pretty, delicate nose with touches of floral perfume and quince that float over a core of spiced peaches, hazelnuts, cut hay and lemon cream. The medium-bodied palate takes its time to unfurl to spicy, perfumed fruits, rounded but fresh and lively, with a long, layered finish. Lovely. 2,020 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard shows the more reserved side of Chardonnay. The 2018 is bright and lifted and is all about savory and mineral infused energy, while the citrus-driven fruit is very much in the background. Saline notes give the 2018 much of its persistence and overall feel."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Brought up in just under 40% new French oak, the 2018 Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard shows a pure, elegant style as well as caramelized grapefruit, white flowers, and salty mineral-like aromas and flavors. Bright, juicy, and medium-bodied, drink this balanced, lively Chardonnay over the coming 3-5 years."
- 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_220560Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Notes: This Chardonnay delights with aromas of citrus, white peach, orange blossom, vanilla, graham cracker and butter perfectly balanced by vibrant and refreshing flavors of Meyer lemon, minerality, cinnamon and pears. Lingering creamy and toasted oak notes round out the finish.
- Item #: i_220440Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Owner and winemaker Matt Courtney started Ferren after an eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley at Marcassin Vineyard. The wines are made using traditional Burgundian methods without fining or filtration, and native yeasts on the grapes from the vineyards perform fermentations. Matt Courtney was featured in a full page picture in the Wine Spectator for their first release and got some great attention. This is on the winelist at the French Laundry, Meadowood, Solage, and the wines are very limited!
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "This is a captivating set of wines from Ferren. Matt Courtney describes 2017 as a year that started with natural concentration from small clusters and small berries, with that richness accentuated by the heat of the growing season. As usual, in the cellar, the wines were done with natural ferments. The Chardonnays spent 12 months in oak and 6 months in steel, while the Pinots spent 18 months in barrel."
"The 2017 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) is a huge overachiever in its peer group. Bold, luscious and rich, the 2017 has so much to offer. Soft contours and plush fruit give the 2017 tons of immediacy. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint and ripe orchard fruit meld into the creamy, super-expressive finish."
- Item #: i_220150Bottle Size: 750mlThis bottling is sourced entirely from Flowers' organic and biodynamically farmed Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Vineyard. Planted in 1991, these "older" vines are producing some of their most exciting and interesting Chardonnays today. Given the extremes of this site, each small block ripens at its own pace.
With a brilliant golden hue, lively aromas of lemon verbena, lime zest, honey suckle, chamomile, and citrus blossom dominate the distinctive nose. The palate is precise and focused, driven by mouthwatering acidity and framed by flinty, coastal minerality – a vivid expression of Flowers' Estate vineyard.
- Item #: i_220170Bottle Size: 750MLThe dramatic landscape of the Sonoma coast, with its steep hillsides and windswept foothills, gives Flowers a diverse profile of well-draining soils, while direct proximity to the Pacific Ocean results in a long, cool growing season. These extreme coastal conditions allow Flowers to produce a layered Chardonnay with bright fruit focus, complex minerality and crystalline acidity. Flowers' Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is sourced from a small selection of family-owned sites, including their own estate Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard.
Medium yellow in color, this wine displays aromas of straw, lemon verbena, and honey suckle that mingle with layers of lemon meringue and lychee. Upon entry are flavors of lemon curd, honeydew, and hints of star fruit and wet stone, balanced with a touch of fine grained tannin. The crisp finish is countered with a spicy note of white pepper and lingers with coastal minerality.
- Item #: i_223470Bottle Size: 750MLRyo-fu is Japanese for "cool breeze." The cool, foggy breeze that comes off the Pacific Ocean allows the Russian River Valley to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's sandy soil is crucial as well; but without the right temperatures, the fruit could ripen too soon or not at all. Thanks to Freeman's local "ryo-fu", the growing seasons are perfectly timed for their vineyards. The 2015 vintage will go down as the earliest Chardonnay harvest on record at Freeman, and with a little help from that cool breeze, all of the fruit came in perfectly ripe.
A blend of Chardonnay from vineyards such as Keefer, Heintz, and Mill Station, the wine shows medium straw color, with a throwback nose of matchstick, honey, ripe Gravenstein apples, and melon. The palate is tightly wound, combining strong acidity and a dense core of fruit. It will take a few years in bottle to reach its peak, but with enough aeration in the glass, everything comes together to reveal a vibrant, well-balanced Chardonnay. The drinking window should be 2018–2023.
- Item #: i_227950Bottle Size: 750mlAromatic and bright with lemon rind, early harvest melon, jasmine blossoms, and minerals, this medium-bodied Chardonnay is full of juicy white nectarine and key lime balanced by zesty acidity and a clean finish belying its ample mouthfeel and texture. Perfect for sipping, quaffing, pairing, and changing opinions.
- Item #: i_228570Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay is a little reticent to begin, slowing unfurling to reveal lemon tart, apple pie and nectarine notions with hints of honeyed toast, cashews and orange blossoms. The medium-bodied palate is refreshing and elegantly styled with many citrus and stone fruit layers accented by savory suggestions and a satiny texture, finishing long and mineral laced. 3,769 cases produced."
- Item #: i_228740Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Chassagne-Montrachet-like notes of white flowers, crushed chalk, toasted brioche, honeyed orchard fruits, and a liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard. A beautifully balanced, elegant white from this estate, it builds on the palate, showing a distinct salinity, medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity, and a great, clean, blockbuster styled finish. This is pure class and just a complete, gorgeous Chardonnay to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or more."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard leaps from the glass with vivacious lemon curd, key lime pie and fresh grapefruit scents plus wafts of honeysuckle, mandarin peel, struck flint and fresh ginger. Medium-bodied, the palate is packed with zip and zing, delivering layer upon layer of citrus and mineral notions, finishing on an enticing tropical fruit note. 326 cases were made."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard balances nervy tension with a good deal of mid-palate richness. White flowers, mint and white pepper add a brilliant upper register that gives the wine a feeling of energy and vibrancy."
- Item #: i_228730Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96+Jeb Dunnuck: 99JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "Coming from a site on a panoramic ridgetop located at 1150 feet in elevation, west of the town of Occidental and facing Bodega Bay, the 2017 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard is another magical effort from this estate and is a quintessential Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. White flowers, salty minerality, apple blossom, and tart pineapple all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied and has a wonderful purity, bright (almost racy) acidity, and a great finish. Brought up in 42% new French oak, it shows almost no trace of its elevage, and while tight and slightly closed on the palate, it's nevertheless insanely good. Give bottles another year and enjoy over the following decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard is a little closed at this youthful stage, revealing suggestions of lime cordial, lemon meringue pie, orange blossoms and acacia honey with wafts of oyster shell and green tea. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly played with a lovely satiny texture and a lively line cutting through the intense flavors, finishing long and minerally."
- Item #: i_228710Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 98If you check to see which Sonoma County winery has the highest average score for their wines, Hartford Family will be towards the top of that list! Founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford’s appreciation for the wines, the Hartford family makes delicious wines of high personality directly related to the difficult locations of their vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings, the varietals they use, and the immense talent of their winemaker Jeff Stewart. “Character through adversity” is an expression that they believe applies to people and grapevines and surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.
This bottling comes from a small vineyard block within the well-known Durrell Vineyard; it sits in the path of an ancient, uplifted river bed on the flank of Sonoma Mountain within the cool Sonoma Coast AVA. Tumbled and water-worn cobblestones now litter the landscape of the vineyard, and very little topsoil remains. The nutritionally deficient soils force the vines to search for water and generate considerable stress on the vines. The stressed vines in turn yield very small clusters with intense varietal flavors.
JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "From a site on the Sonoma Coast (this comes all from a block within the Durell Vineyard), the 2017 Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard reminds me of a Grand Cru Chablis on steroids, with gorgeous lemon curd, iodine, white flowers, crushed chalky, and a touch of green almond, with its oak beautifully integrated. Showing medium to full-bodied richness as well as flawless balance, this is a Chardonnay that builds with time in the glass as well as on the palate and has bright, salty acidity and incredible length. Beautifully done, it's another thrilling Chardonnay from this estate."
- Item #: i_223520Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92+Vinous Media: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards is a very pretty and also understated wine from Phelps. Yellow orchard fruit, white flowers, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes all grace this expressive, pliant Chardonnay. Beams of supporting acidity support the nuanced finish. This is in a pretty restrained style for Phelps, and that is not a bad thing, as these wines have, at times, been a bit bombastic."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "Aged 13 months in 42% new French oak puncheons and barrels, the 2017 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard has an open nose of lush white peach, apricot, baked quince and poached pears with nuances of acacia blossom, wet stone and lemon zest. Medium-bodied, it's very lively in the mouth with layers of citrus and stone fruit with mineral accents, framed by great tangy acidity, finishing long and clean. 2,400 cases produced."
- Item #: i_235000Bottle Size: 750mlIn Burgundy, some wines are labeled Premier Cru without designating a specific site. Where Kistler owns or leases vineyards, it is necessary to apply the same scrutiny of blocks as has been done over 40 years working with top growers. Where the soil and aspect are just short of single-vineyard quality, the harvest is combined with similar blocks in other controlled vineyards. The intention is to show regional identity but not necessarily the individual vineyard expression. Grown in Gold-Ridge sandy loam near the Russian River, the primary vineyard blocks are Vine Hill Vineyard, Trenton Roadhouse Vineyard, and Dutton Ranch. The resulting wines have a unique set of aromatics heightened by mineral and earthen tones.
The 2018 Les Noisetiers shows the typical yellow gold color with hints of green. Orchard fruits drive the aromatic profile. Scents of yellow pears green apples and lemon pith are most prominent and these contrast the wines strong sense of minerality. The finish is citrus driven. This wine will benefit from decanting and aeration..
- Item #: i_200006Bottle Size: EACHLa Chertosa is named for the magnificent 14th century Renaissance monastery in the Tuscan valley of Farneta, Italy where the Sebastiani ancestral roots began. Here Sam's grandfather Samuele Sebastiani learned from the monks to make wine in the "Old World" style. Samuele came to Sonoma in 1893, and found that Sonoma closely resembled faraway Farneta in three ways; it boasted a mild Mediterranean climate, had the same Mediterranean red soils and was blessed with gently sloping hillsides. He founded Sebastiani Winery in 1904, one of the first wineries in California and employed the time-honored techniques taught him by the Carthusian monks in Farneta, to create in Sonoma, the winemaking style Sam continues in crafting the harmonic flavors in La Chertosa wines.
- Item #: i_236450Bottle Size: 750MLHere’s an old favorite which we love and promote for good reason. The La Crema Chardonnay shows off its true Sonoma Coast origins like a very expensive wine should, but wait... this only costs $15.99!
There are delicious flavors of pear, white peach and butterscotch intermingling on the palette and a long lingering finish that goes farther than any wine at this price should. This wine is more than just value, as it shows true depth and personality. Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse takes great care in ensuring that this wine is balanced and a marvelous stand out in the great sea of value-priced Chardonnay.
Just a quick whiff reveals great purity, with huge tropical and floral notes. In light of our current economic climate, La Crema Winery hits the mark on quality and availability, all the while delivering it prudently. Oh! And we should mention that Robert Parker said, This Chardonnay / Pinot Noir specialist should receive rave notices from bargain hunters looking for a top-flight Chardonnay that is complex, rich, and widely available. So we are by no means the only people who understand this winery's significance.
- Item #: i_237450Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay shows the natural intensity of the year in its voluptuous, tropical personality. Pineapple, mint, orange peel, smoke and apricot infuse this racy, powerful Chardonnay. Oily and viscous on the palate, with tremendous textural depth and tons of sheer appeal, the 2015 has a lot to offer."
- 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_238960Bottle Size: 750mlSteve MacRostie started making Chardonnay under his own label in 1987, and MacRostie Chardonnay has been a staple at Hi-Time for nearly as long. Steve and his team noticed over the years that their best lots of Chardonnay were coming from the Sonoma side of Carneros. As their own "Wildcat Mountain" vineyard began to mature and yield enough fruit for wine production, their preferences were truly confirmed. In addition to their estate vineyards, MacRostie works with other family farmers who share the passion for quality grape growing, with a focus on sustainability. In fact, in May of 2012 MacRostie Winery earned the Certified California sustainable Winegrowing designation!
The grapes for this Chardonnay came from several exceptional Sonoma Coast vineyards, and the list almost reads like a "who's who" of the region. Sangiacomo and Hi Vista vineyards are located in the Carneros region, and MacRostie's talented winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen also works with some amazing Russian River Valley properties, including vineyards owned by the renowned Dutton and Martinelli families. Another key vineyard in this wine is Steve MacRostie's own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, which is situated high up in the volcanic hills of the Petaluma Gap region. Selected for their cool climates and unique growing conditions, these vineyards lend distinct and complex characteristics to their Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.