- 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_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_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_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_232390Bottle Size: 750mlOwners John and Michelle (JaM) Truchard have created quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. With the name of their wine label being called JaM, they employed the help of winemaker Rob Lloyd to produce a rich, jammy style of Cabernet. Well, that wine was a huge hit, and since Rob knew a thing or two about making Chardonnays, it only made sense that this white wine should be called "Butter". As the name implies, this is a rich, buttery style of Chardonnay laced with aromas of baked lemons and mandarin oranges mingle with a hint of spice and smoke. The palate begins with crisp pineapple, bright citrus and ripe melon while a soft creaminess rounds out the finish. This Chardonnay is ready for immediate enjoyment and is suited to a wide variety of foods including white fish, smoked salmon and creamy pasta dishes.
- 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_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_275494Bottle Size: 750mlCanoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay is refined and elegant and we enhance that style in the cellar. This wine delivers crisp apple and white grapefruit aromas and flavors with a clean, refreshing finish. We age the wine in restrained, lighter French oak barrels to maintain its fresh style.
- 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_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_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_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.
- 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_249210Bottle Size: 750mlSince 1989 the Parker family-owned and -operated winery has produced wines of superior quality and value. This handcrafted wine represents the best of what Santa Barbara County Chardonnay has to offer. Flavors of ripe apple, butter, lemon, and melon are perfectly balanced with light toasty oak on the palate.
- Item #: i_262605Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 91Back in 1978, Ric Forman made the decision to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in amounts small enough so he could personally be as meticulous as he felt necessary, without anybody getting in his way. Pretty much since his first vintage, his wines have been hard to get, with the majority of his wines being sold directly off his mailing list. We have typically received a small allocation, and this typically sells out within a few months, but before it does, we felt the need to let you know about this gem, even if it will be gone in a short amount of time! A passion for a more austere Chablis style from this noble grape has been Ric's goal for more then 36 years. This Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed and exclusively fermented in Burgundy barrels. Left sur lie for 7 months (aged on the dead yeast cells is common in Burgundy), the wine is racked once during its 9 months of barrel aging, with the secondary fermentation intentionally inhibited.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay is bright and nuanced, as it always is. Lemon peel, almond, dried flowers and light tropical overtones abound. As always, Forman blocks the malolactic fermentation in his Chardonnay, which makes for an especially understated style by Napa Valley standards. Even so, the 2018 is also a touch light for this wine."