Everything changed for Chardonnay one day in 1976, when, in a blind tasting since dubbed the “Judgement of Paris,” French wine experts judged Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay the better of several white Burgundies from top vineyards in Montrachet and Meursault. Although Montelena is a Napa Valley winery, the majority of the fruit that went into the 1973 Chardonnay came from Sonoma County vineyards.
Schug Carneros Estate Chardonnay 2015
This classic Carneros Chardonnay was grown primarily on the Schug Estate vineyard, with additional barrels from our grower-partners Ricci, Wildcat, Leveroni, Wood Valley and Lund Vineyards. It was fermented and aged on the lees ("surlie") in small French oak barrels, with minimal new oak introduced. Malo-lactic fermentation was not induced, allowing the wine to retain its natural acidity and varietal focus. The result is a wine that is both rich and powerful, while refreshing and elegant on the finish. It has a ripe, spicy tropical bouquet with flavors that suggest citrus, pear and spiced apples.
92 pts. WW
Benovia Russian River Chardonnay 2017
This 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is bursting with aromas of citrus blossom, nectarine and spice baked pear. Aromas of white peach and tangerine, knit together by bright acidity for a long-complex finish. Barrel fermentation and oak aging for 12 months have added hints of candied ginger, and baking spice to a subtle minerality on the finish.
94 pt. WE
Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
Starting out with the appellation Chardonnay, which was bottled in June of last year, the 2016 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast sees a shorter élevage as well as a smaller percentage of new oak. It’s a terrific Chardonnay that has clean, classy, layered notes of orchard fruits, pineapple, and citrus, with hints of leafy herbs. It’s a great introduction to the wines of this estate.
Martin Ray Winery, Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2017
Martin Ray is thrilled with the intricacies and sophistication of this vintage’s Chardonnay. Traditional and elegant, this wine boasts layers of Meyer lemon curd, ripe Bosc pear, with subtle orange blossom and honey. The body is layered and complex throughout the palate, yet light and juicy with vibrant acidity around the edges, finishing with a delicate touch of Tahitian vanilla bean and well-integrated oak. Delicious and crisp, it is an effortless companion with food as well as an elegant everyday drinker.
93 pts JS