- Item #: i_200000Bottle Size: 750MLAcacia Vineyard is in the heart of the Carneros wine region, with stellar views of vineyards and the bay. This premium winegrowing region enjoys the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and summer fog, making it an ideal growing area for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Acacia was a pioneer in this appellation when it began in 1979 and continues to craft Burgundian-inspired varietals which have been consistently delicious beyond their price point.
And on the subject of price points, the plan with this program is to put the best and most representative of California's Chardonnay growing regions in a bottle and give it a very refreshing price. So here you have it: Monterey, Santa Maria Valley, Paso Robles, and even a touch of Carneros fruit blended together to make a really lovely sipper (someone forgot to tell the wine it shouldn't taste this good at $9.99). An exotic aroma is followed by a rainbow of stone and tropical fruits, it's bright and crisp, and the finish is long. This is one to procure by the case - people are forever dropping by!
- Item #: i_200090Bottle Size: 750mlVibrant aromas of crème brûlée, ginger, lemon curd and white peach are followed by a creamy entry which blossoms to a full, sweet, peach, nectarine and citrus mid-palate. Medium-bodied with vibrant acidity, the wine finishes long and full.
- Item #: i_200480Bottle Size: 750ml"II Squared" 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 Squared 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_211290Bottle Size: 750mlThe Ancient Peaks Chardonnay vines are rooted in granitic soils along the southeast border of the vineyard, where the morning and afternoon temperatures are particularly cool. Here, brisk marine air settles after flowing through a mountain notch known as Trout Creek. These conditions provide Chardonnay fruit with the long period necessary to nurture vivid varietal character. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, and as the only vineyard in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The surrounding mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in their wines.
This Chardonnay offers inviting aromas of pear, fig and lime zest with a hint of apple blossom. The palate begins on a creamy note, unfolding with bright flavors of nectarine, white peach, pineapple and lemon drop. Brisk mineral accents and fresh acidity converge on a buoyant, lively finish.
2018 Chardonnay - 93 Points - Tasting Panel
- Item #: i_200730Bottle Size: 750mlAngeline carefully selects vineyards from areas such as Santa Barbara County, the Russian River Valley, and the western reaches of Mendocino County in order to promote the full potential of their Chardonnay's aroma and palate. These coastal regions similarly tend toward uniform daytime temperatures and cool, foggy nights throughout the growing season to help concentrate the flavor as the sugar and acids develop. Fresh notes of Bosc pear, lemon zest, touches of pineapple, and subtle vanilla on the finish.
- Item #: i_200290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Mountain Select features fresh Bosc pears, ripe nectarines and lemon curd notes with touches of lime leaves and hay. Medium-bodied, elegant and lively in the mouth, it has a restrained, understated character and chalky finish."
- 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_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_202940Bottle Size: 750mlThis Santa Barbara County Chardonnay is a good all around choice to satisfy a wide variety of foods. With enough structure to age for five to six years, we think this wine is most enjoyable three years after the vintage year. This is truly a Santa Barbara County blend from warmer Santa Ynez Valley to the cooler Santa Rita Hills.
- 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_275937Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsPeople 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_208720Bottle Size: 750mlThe Wild Bee! The Wild Bee represents a shift in Big Table Farm's Chardonnay program. This wine takes the place of their Willamette Valley Chardonnay – only in name, label and price! Same vineyard sources, same winemaking, same barrels. The Wild Bee is a combination of all 6 sites of Chardonnay that they work with and is a fantastic representation of Willamette Valley Chardonnay for 2019.
At first blush this wine's aromatics offer up lemon custard and stone fruit. This is a clean bright expression of Chardonnay. It has a persistant white floral note that leads into warm toast and hazelnut – this all shows off the perfectly developed golden grapes that finish like a bite of perfectly ripe pear. The acid is fine and complex without any hard edges giving this wine tension to help you appreciate it's subtleties.
- 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_202690Bottle Size: 750mlBoen draws its profile from the varied winegrowing regions that are the most highly regarded cool-climate appellations along California's coast. This stretch of coastline is so geographically diverse that the various soil types, sub-climates, and elevations produce wines with an array of differences in character and style. To create the Boen Tri-Appellation Chardonnay, Joe Wagner blends together grapes from Sonoma County, Santa Barbara County, and Monterey County to showcase a wine that is rich in flavor, with bright aromatics and a vibrant minerality.
Crisp green apple and persimmon lead to peach skin and a stone-fruit opening. The mid-palate is lively and tropical with an undertone of delicate salinity. Boen Chardonnay ends with lovely hints of kumquat and fresh lemon custard pie. Rich and creamy, this wine resides with it's many elements. Pair this Chardonnay with welsh aged cheddar, baked tilapia, and kale salad with apples and blanched almonds.
- Item #: i_205542Bottle Size: 750mlWe feel that Bogle has one of the most solid wine portfolios in the business, and they prove that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! The Bogle family has been farming since the mid 1800’s and their reputation has continued to grow. The fact that they want to sell wines that people can actually afford doesn’t hurt, either. A little something for everyone: barrel fermentation, sur-lies aging, and partial malolactic fermentation. These hand-crafted processes create a rich and elegant wine with layers of complexity.
Fresh tropical fruits like pineapple, mango and green apple greet both the nose and palate upon first sip, followed up by a touch of lemon cream. Complimented by more creamy notes of butterscotch and caramel, the wine has a long, lingering finish hinting of toasty oak.
- Item #: i_220950Bottle Size: 750mlBonterra's organic fruit from Mendocino offers the characteristic flavors of green apples, pears, and citrus to our chardonnay. They ferment 70% of the juice in a combination of French and American oak, which is allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation to create a rich, creamy wine with just a touch of new oak spice. The remaining 30% is fermented in stainless steel to preserve the crisp fresh fruit favors. Bonterra ages most of the wine using previously-used or neutral oak in order for these fresh fruit characteristics to shine through. New oak was used for just 16% of the wine to give this Chardonnay a nice vanilla note. An initial impression of rich, buttery cream quickly turns to aromas of honey and lightly toasted almonds, followed by tropical aromas of pineapple, citrusy lemon and creme brulee. The wine is refreshing on the palate, with a minerality that is both bright and clean, drawing you into a vibrant tartness and lemon zest that is absolutely, positively Bonterra Chardonnay, vintage after vintage.
- Item #: i_205980Bottle Size: 750mlThe wine develops like a story in the glass as you let it breathe. It begins with a combination of bright butterscotch and soft citrus. Then the notes of cream and lemon meringue pie begin to rise to the surface and are joined with toast, smoke and vanilla flavors from the oak. Floral and canned peach aromas develop last. When it all comes together, it's magic. Let the wine open up to wonderful flavors of peach, lemon zest, papaya, banana, and honeysuckle. Then buttered popcorn and vanilla oak characters emerge from the background to soften the fruit. There is a great balance of acidity and richness that makes Bread & Butter both refreshing and decadent.
- Item #: i_206080Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "My favorite of the Chardonnay releases is the 2018 Chardonnay 3D, and this beauty has everything you could want from a Sta. Rita Hills release. Medium gold-hued, with a stunning nose of stone fruits, white currants, crushed stone, toasted bread, and a hints of green almonds, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. It's one of the finest Chardonnays in this report."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay 3D is a stunning wine with intense layers and mega intense perfume! It leaps from the glass with elderflower, quince, white peaches and baklava plus loads of honeyed nuances. The palate is medium-bodied and satiny with full, broad, perfectly ripe fruit character opposed by gently tangy acidity, and it finishes very long and very layered. 750 cases produced."
- Item #: i_206040Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsThere is an alluring charm to the entire Central Coast wine producing region, but it was Sta. Rita Hills that called to Greg Brewer. For 30 years, winemaker Greg Brewer has been honing his skill of crafting impeccable wines from Santa Barbara County, with a specific focus on the Sta. Rita Hills sub-AVA. In fact, Greg Brewer helped to map and define the Sta. Rita Hills area in 1997, which helped its official approval in 2001.
The geographic, geologic and climatic uniqueness of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation provides an ideal place to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes of intensity, complexity and specificity. Within this appellation, each vineyard carries its own imprint. The mission at Brewer-Clifton, and indeed their passion, is to present wines that convey the characteristics inherent to each of these sites, with uncompromising quality.
Brewer-Clifton is now using 100% Estate Grown grapes, and they do not purchase grapes from other owners. This makes certain that every attention to detail can be ensured, and only the highest quality grapes enter through the winery doors, and they use sustainable and/or organic farming methods whenever possible.
Greg has been named Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, and respected wine critic Jeb Dunnuck has stated that these are, "some of the finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays coming out of California today". On top of that, this bottling just received 94 points from Jeb Dunnuck...and selling for under $30 a bottle! If you enjoy the Chardonnays from Santa Barbara County, then this is a no-brainer!
JEB DUNNICK 94 POINTS - "This is another brilliant lineup from Greg Brewer, and these Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as a terrific Syrah) are up with the finest wines in this report. These wines are never shrinking violets and have loads of fruit and texture, yet they always show singular characters, stunning balance, and weightless, elegant textures that make them a joy to drink. I think they're some of the finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays coming out of California today."
"Starting with the Chardonnays, the 2018 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills is a winner and is ideal for readers looking to understand the Sta. Rita Hills as well as the style of the wines at Brewer-Clifton. Medium gold, with a great nose of Meyer lemons, caramelized orchard fruits, hints of sappy herbs, and a touch of seaside-like salinity and minerality, it's medium to full-bodied and has a rounded, elegant texture, nicely integrated acidity, and a clean, classy finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay (Sta. Rita Hills) is vivid and expressive. Like so many of the wines here, the Chardonnay needs a good bit of air to show at its best. Once that happens, the wine's textural breadth and dimension emerge beautifully. Lemon confit, dried pear, mint and dried herbs are all laced together. This appellation Chardonnay is deep, savory and phenolic, all of which make it an excellent choice for the dinner table. It is the hidden gem in this range. Vineyard sites are 3D, Machado and Hapgood."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills has very pretty aromas of perfumed quince, pears and peaches with notes of honey and hazelnuts and a bright lemon peel lift. The light to medium-bodied palate is slow to unfold to delicate, seamlessly fresh fruits with savory bass tones and a long, lifted finish. 2,500 cases produced."