- Item #: i_200033Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Eola Springs comes from vines planted in 1984. It has a singular, incredibly layered nose of orange oil, jasmine, dried chamomile and hay, honeyed apples, pie crust, candied hazelnuts, grilled peaches, sweet spices, autumn leaves and mushroom tart. In the mouth, it's medium-bodied and über silky, spindle-like in its ability to run the gamut from precise stony character to open, fleshy, honeyed fruits and back again, with laser-like focus and a very long, layered finish. This is gorgeous!"
- Item #: i_200023Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "00 Wines is crafting some of the most exciting Chardonnays in Willamette Valley. Anjou, France, native Pierre Millemann oversees winemaking in Oregon, and he is also in charge of 00's newest projects in France, where they are making a white Burgundy and Champagne."
"The 2017 Chardonnay Richard Hermann Cuvee has intense, layered aromas of quince paste, apple pie, toast, oyster shell, white blossoms, honeyed almonds, saline and baked peaches with a classy framing of allspice and hints of mushroom tart and tree bark. The medium-bodied palate is incredibly intense and silky, with tangy opposing acidity and a very long, layered, tensile finish. This is so good!"
- Item #: i_200034Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay VGW has very pretty aromas of crushed apples, roasted almonds and hay with touches of dried white flowers and savory green herbs in the background. In the mouth, it's delicately styled and incredibly silky in texture, fleshing out to savory fruits and enlivened by seamless acidity on the long, lifted finish. 628 cases produced."
- Item #: i_200013Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Chehalem Mountain takes time to open on the nose. It's worth the wait, unfolding to gorgeous aromas of spring honey, hazelnuts, flint, pastry and a rich core of quince paste and floral perfume. Medium-bodied, the palate is incredibly silky, its broad, rich character refreshed by bright acidity, finishing elegantly and flavorful. This is a savory, mineral-driven Chardonnay that has the structure and flesh to give plenty more with bottle time. 54 cases were made."
- 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_228010Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Comments: "With the complex fruit of a well grown, mature Chardonnay vineyard, coupled with the vineyard's inherent minerality and steely acidity, the intention is to cellar this rare wine, as it will develop over many years to come. With a beautiful pale straw and slight yellow color, this youthful beauty offers aromas of peach, meyer lemon, roasted hazelnut, crème brulee, douglas fir, baked apple and wet stone, and is classically Hanzell. It is full bodied with a very rich mouthfeel and an extremely long finish. If you are not a patient person, decanting this wine for a minimum of two hours prior to serving is recommended."
- Item #: i_236580Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay - W.S. Keyes is rich and deeply phenolic, with all of the natural structure that is so typical of Howell Mountain. Bright and fresh on the palate, with terrific energy, the 2017 is wonderfully nuanced and full of character. Savory herbs, chamomile, mint, pineapple and exotic floral notes add to the wine's character, while blocked malolactic fermentation keeps the flavors bright."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "There are just over 500 cases of the 2017 Chardonnay W.S. Keyes, which comes from a single block of the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Seeing no malolactic fermentation and aged in 10% new French, it has Chablis-like citrus, lemon curd, and green apple notes as well as medium-bodied richness, bright yet integrated acidity, a light graceful texture, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay W.S. Keyes comes from vines planted in 1992-1993. One-third of the wine went directly to barrel (dirty) and the other two-thirds was settled and barrel fermented. It was aged in 10% new oak. It leaps from the glass with notes of honeyed white peaches, lemon tart, Golden Delicious apples and lime blossoms plus hints of marzipan and lemongrass. Medium-bodied with a seriously racy backbone and loads of intense citrus and stone fruit layers, it has a lovely satiny texture and long chalky finish. 544 cases produced."
- 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_241020Bottle Size: 750mlMaxem is the personal project of Sam and Nancy Kaplan. Sam, in his winemaking career, has been on the ground floor of some of Napa Valley’s most exciting wine projects in recent history (including Arkenstone, Memento Mori, and Vangone), helping to plant vineyards, build wineries and cement reputations with wines that speak of the unparalleled sites in which they’re grown. Nancy, as a chef, spent years in top restaurants in New York and Napa Valley, honing her craft and her palate beside celebrated chefs who demanded nothing less than perfection.
In Latin, MAXEM has the distinction of meaning "best of the best." It also combines the proprietors' two children's names, Max and Emma. Hence, for this wine, nothing but the best vineyard would suffice...enter Ulisis Valdez. Ulises was an immigrant who worked for others for decades before striking out on his own. He namaged to find a parcel that he felt would produce some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the entirety of the Sonoma Coast. He was right, as the fruit from his vineyard has produced some of the highest scoring wines ever to come out of Sonoma! this Chardonnay is produced from the famed Wente clone of Chardonnay, grown on the UV property.
- Item #: i_245440Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Jeb Dunnuck: 99JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The borderline perfect 2017 Chardonnay Coup De Coeur comes from a selection of the best barrels and there are only 150 cases of this elixir. Aged in 40% new French oak, this exotic, powerful Chardonnay offers a heavenly bouquet of honeyed citrus, toasted brioche exotic flowers, and orange blossom. It's rich, voluptuous, and thrillingly textured, yet has good acidity, remarkable purity, a stacked mid-palate and a finish that won't quit. Count me impressed; California Chardonnay doesn't get much better."
ROBERT PARKER 99 POINTS - "Coup de Coeur is an uber barrel-selection blend of the Morlet's Chardonnay vineyards, using exclusively Old Wente clone selection. The 2017 Chardonnay Coup de Coeur bursts with spicy notions of allspice and coriander seed over a core of ripe Bosc pears, apple pie and almond croissant with wafts of beeswax and candied ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tightly wound, offering beautiful tension to offset all the opulent, spicy flavors, finishing very long and incredibly harmonious even at this very youthful stage. 150 cases are due to be made."
- Item #: i_248780Bottle Size: 750mlLet's be honest, when you have such notables as Randy Dunn, Helen Turley, Erin Green, and Michel Rolland having worked for a winery, you know great things are afoot! Jayson Pahlmeyer and his crew have worked hard for 30 years to produce the best Cabernets, Merlots, Pinot Noirs, and Chardonnays they possibly could, and they have succeeded year after year! The Pahlmeyer wines are highly sought after, receive lofty scores, and are coveted by consumers and collectors alike.
This year, it is their Napa Valley Chardonnay garnering the spotlight! Coming from Pahlmeyer's estate high on Atlas Peak, the vineyard ranges in elevation from 1,500 to 2,100 feet. The vineyard was planted by Davis Abreu, whose skilled hand has also worked with Screaming Eagle, Staglin, and Harlan. This site is rocky and desolate, with low vigor and good drainage; perfect for grapes!
- Item #: i_230640Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94ROBERT PARKER's WINE ADVOCATE 98+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Cuvee Agustina Richard Dinner Vineyard slowly opens to quince paste, banana cream, lemon pith and apples with nuances of allspice, honeycomb, lilac, earth and a spicy undercurrent. It's medium to full-bodied, silky, concentrated and layered with vibrant freshness and a long, intense finish. This is lovely! 238 cases produced."
- Item #: i_230420Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 98JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Last of the Chardonnay and first made in 1991, the 2018 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard comes from a vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain AVA and spent 15 months in 53% new French oak. It's certainly the most exotic Chardonnay in the lineup, with a complex bouquet of Meyer lemons, flower oil, toasted spice, candle wax, and honeyed citrus. Rich, full-bodied, and stacked on the palate, it has loads of fruit, vibrant acidity, and a great finish. It's another powerful, concentrated Chardonnay."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard is quite floral and perfumed in this vintage. Jasmine, white pepper, mint and lemon peel give the 2018 a brilliant aromatic upper register. In most vintages the Richard Dinner Chardonnay is distinguished by more of a phenolic character, but the 2018 is all about lift and energy."
- Item #: i_230500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 95Decanter: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Loads of caramelized peach, toasted spices, brioche, and honeyed citrus emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Ross Station Estate, one of the richer, more powerful Chardonnay in the lineup. Nevertheless, it has beautiful acidity, flawless balanced, and a great finish. Brought up in 50% new French oak, it's drinking spot on today and shows the vintage nicely. It will also age well for 4-6 years, probably longer, but there's no need to delay gratification."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Ross Station Estate opens with toast and flint, segueing to golden apple, white flowers and salted almonds. The medium-bodied, satiny palate is singing, bursting with juicy, savory flavors and finishing very long. 317 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The Chardonnay Ross Station Estate is especially fine in 2018. Rich and explosive in the glass, the 2018 possesses terrific depth and a real sense of energy really drives the orchard fruit and floral flavors. Soaring aromatics and soft contours give this exuberant, inviting Chardonnay tons of sheer appeal. The 2018 is class personified."
- Item #: i_244840Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97If you do not yet know the name Paul Lato, and you haven't heard us talking about him in our store, then it's time to listen up! We are telling you right now that Paul Lato is producing some of the most exciting Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Syrahs coming out of California's Central Coast!
After working as a Sommelier in Toronto, Paul decided to change gears and work in winemaking. After working with Jim Clenden at Au Bon Climat, Paul started making his first wines. Before he even had a name, esteemed critic Robert Parker tasted the wines and suggested that Paul hurry up and come up with a label, because Paul had true talent. Paul only works with premier vineyards; he tastes wines from other producers who use fruit from a potential vineyard, and if that wine excites him, then he tries to get the best fruit from the property.
Paul makes several different wines, but he does not make a large amount of any one bottling. In fact, he often makes just a few hundred cases of a particular label, which means getting your hands on them is even harder. However, our buyer has known Paul for well over a decade, so we tend to get a rather generous allocation...thanks Paul!
The scores for Paul's wines have only been going up and up. In fact, one of his Syrahs received 100 points! We just received a few releases this week, and we felt the need to bring these incredible wines to your attention before they're all gone!
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "A great California success story, Polish immigrant Paul Lato started as a cellar hand in a Santa Maria co-op/custom crush and has worked his way up to being one of the leading producers of artisanal, world class wines in California today. Lato fashions a bevy of wines (I would normally say too many, yet given the quality he's able to achieve, the more the merrier) including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. These aren't lightweight wines, yet they never lose their sense of balance and elegance. I always describe the wines as having a slightly Old World style, but with one foot planted firmly in California. As I hope the reviews show, his 2018s are incredible wines across the board."
"The 2018 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard comes from a site outside of Santa Maria and was brought up in 60% new French oak. Awesome notes of white flowers, white currants, toasted spices, honeysuckle and a touch of spice all emerge from this ultra-classic, medium to full-bodied, seamless beauty. It does everything right and is just a classy effort."
- Item #: i_252650Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 93Racines is a collaboration of four great voices of wine. Justin Willett of Lieu Dit and Tyler has been joined in his home appellation, the Sta. Rita Hills, by Etienne de Montille and Brian Sieve of Domaine de Montille, and Rodolphe Peters of Pierre Peters. Together, they are marrying the time-honored techniques of Burgundy and Champagne with the pioneering energy of California-and, in the process, they are rediscovering the nuances of the appellation's most iconic vineyards.
Following the consolidation of Domaine de Montille, a family estate that dates back to the 1730s, Etienne de Montille looked to California, eager for an opportunity to engage new terroir with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as his lens. In 2016 he set off on a month of travel among the state's myriad appellations, meeting their winemakers, tasting their wines. In short order it became apparent that the promise he was seeking lay in the Sta. Rita Hills-and the partner for such ambition was already there.
By 2016 Justin Willett, a son of Santa Barbara and career winemaker, had over a decade of experience coaxing forth the character of the region's best vineyards. Etienne and Justin turned to compelling vineyard blocks that Justin had long coveted, and together they have presented refreshing new entries in the most important discussions of the appellation. And then, of course, there's Rodolphe Peters. In 2018, Rodolphe joined Racines in deepening their understanding of Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay. Their first sparkling wines, now en tirage, are likely to debut in late autumn.
The wines here possess more structure and resonance than encountered in Tyler's ethereal approach. New cooperage and custom vats, tailored to Etienne's technique, have been imported. The Pinots are composed using further stem inclusion, more extraction, and longer vatting. The Chardonnays are raised with more finessing of the fine lees and longer elevage. The results are immediately apparent in the glass: these are tensile and crystalline expressions of the Sta. Rita Hills- at once familiar and rendered anew.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Sanford and Benedict has plenty of depth, texture and nuance, but it is also surprisingly tightly wound for a vintage in which wines are generally more open-knit. Bright, savory and intensely mineral, the 2017 is going to need time to soften. At this point, the 2017 is not terribly expressive of S-and-B, although it is quite attractive just the same."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Sanford and Benedict Vineyard has a youthfully shy nose, slowly opening to red apples, ripe white stone fruits, lemon cream and lime peel with notes of pastry and petrichor. The palate is light to medium-bodied, saline and precise, with tangy acidity and a pleasant touch of texture on the long, mineral-driven finish."
- Item #: i_255550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Rombauer's Proprietor Selection is a reserve Chardonnay produced only in exceptional vintages, and is a blend of their best barrels from the finest lots. This wine comes from elite vineyards in the Carneros region owned by the Rombauer family and select growers including the Sangiacomo family, long-term grower partners who have farmed this land for three generations.
The grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed while the fruit was still cool. The juice was pumped to tank to cold-settle overnight before it was racked to barrel for primary and malolactic fermentations. The lees were stirred every two weeks to give the wine rich flavors and a creamy texture. Each barrel was hand-selected for this wine.
Pale straw yellow with a golden hue, this wine's color will deepen with age. An exceptionally concentrated aroma of candied peach, Meyer lemon, brioche and spice leap from the glass. The palate has layers of peach, nectarine and lemon curd which blend seamlessly with the spice, brioche and creamy texture. The acid binds the wine together, providing the balance to hold the brooding fruit sweetness in check. The finish continues to build endlessly.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2019 Chardonnay Proprietor Selection needs a fair bit of swirling to reveal glorious notes of warm apricots, fresh grapefruit, lemon tart and fresh Bosc pears with touches of beeswax, allspice, candied ginger and toasted almond. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has tightly wound citrus and stone fruit layers with a satiny texture and fantastic freshness, finishing with loads of spice and mineral sparks. This is one beautifully crafted Napa Valley Chardonnay!"
- Item #: i_266550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+Jeb Dunnuck: 96This is not the first time that Stonestreet Chardonnay has been on our Top North American White wine list, but for those of you who have tasted this glorious elixir in the past, you can see why it’s on our list once again! Stonestreet’s vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing, and she makes Chardonnays of exceptional concentration, purity and depth. The majority of this bottling is produced from the Hyde-Wente clone of Chardonnay, which, in our opinion, produces the more complex and nuanced Chardonnays on the market today!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard comes from the oldest vines on the estate, planted in 1982. Fermented in barrel and aged for 11 months in 47% new French oak, it is a little closed to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal pink grapefruit, white peaches and Granny Smith apples with nuances of honeysuckle, lemon tart and praline. Medium to full-bodied, it explodes in the mouth with citrus and savory layers, with a gorgeous silkiness and loads of ginger and mineral sparks coming through on the finish. Wow! 813 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"More tropical mango and pineapple notes define the 2016 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which is fresh, lively, and pretty on the palate. Both Chardonnays here have a terrific salinity, impeccable balance, and a great finish. This estate is from Wente and from vines planted in the 1980s. It's a seamless, elegant, structured, rocking Chardonnay that's going to age."
- Item #: i_271170Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay is bold, luscious and absolutely delicious. Tangerine oil, passion fruit, butter notes and exotic flowers all develop in a Chardonnay that nicely balances mountain structure, acidity and the natural viscosity of Wente-clone Chardonnay. As it often is, the Vineyard 7 and 8 in this vintage is one of the most distinctive Chardonnays in Napa Valley."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate gives up apple pie, spiced pears and honeydew melon with touches of cedar, toasted cashews, honeycomb, allspice and ginger. Full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it has a creamy texture and long, toasty finish."
- Item #: i_248840Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98+Vinous Media: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 95Jayson Pahlmeyer’s eponymous label is one of the more sought-after wines produced in the Napa Valley. After falling in love with Burgundy, and almost purchasing two grand cru vineyards, Jayson was drawn to the possibility of purchasing property in California that could emulate the best from Burgundy. His then winemaker Helen Turley took notice of a vineyard in Sonoma Coast that was just down the road from her own vineyard, and Helen understood well the extraordinary character of fruit this land could yield. The fruit was blended into the Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, but the Wayfarer Vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable cause for its own namesake label. Barrel fermented using 100% native yeasts, this is a majestic Chardonnay that must be tasted to truly understand its immense quality.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98+ POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard opens with explosive perfume! Gunflint, spring honey, white flowers and salted almonds mingle over rich quince paste and warm apple fruit. The palate is equally as compelling, its powerful, rich layers of flavor packed into an ultra silky frame, offering bright pops of juiciness and a finish that goes on forever. Wow! It's stunning now but may improve with more time in bottle."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is a fitting conclusion to this tasting of 2018s. Rich and viscous in the glass, with terrific energy, the 2018 is wonderfully complete, not to mention incredibly delicious. Lemon confit, white pepper, mint, jasmine and light tropical notes develop in the glass, but it is the wine's textural feel that really stands out. The 2018 is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. The Wayfarer Vineyard spent 16 months in oak, about 70% new."
JEB DUNNUCK 95+ POINTS - "From the estate vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation and barrel fermented (all native yeast) and aged 15 months in 70% new French oak, the 2018 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard offers a classic and slightly Burgundian style in its caramelized orchard fruits, toasted nuts, brioche, and white flower-laced aromas and flavors. Showing a touch marine-like salinity with time in the glass, it's medium to full-bodied and has good concentration, integrated acidity, and a great finish. Give it a year and it will drink nicely for a decade."
- Item #: i_272140Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "On the nose, aromas of Meyer lemon and green apple abound, with highlights of chamomile flowers and elements of greengage, which offer complexity and intrigue. The oak is well integrated and nearly invisible in this elegant offering from our cool climate estate vineyard in Guerneville. Included in the blend for the first time are newly developed blocks planted to heritage Calera and Wente Chardonnay clones. On the mid-palate, there is a lift of Meyer lemon peel and green tea notes. Due to the new plantings, the palate has an excellent tannin structure and finishes with elements of crushed minerals."