Mar 252014
Macauley Chardonnay 2012 – Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley, CA, $48  – Rating 91

Limited production of only 180 cases. Fermented sur lie in equal parts concrete, stainless steel and neutral oak barrels. In the glass, a rich golden hue with aromas of red apple, citrus and baking spice. A balanced mouth-feel offering enough crisp acidity to food pair or enjoy solo. Flavors of red apple, pear and tropicals with just a hint of lime, spice and minerality. Pleasant notes of grilled pineapple and citrus on the long finish. Buy This Wine

Feb 122014
2011 Jekel Vineyards Gravelstone Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco, Monterey, CA, $16 (S) – Rating 88

Scents of red apples, pears, tropical fruit and baking spice. A round mouth-feel with juicy acidity from the judicious use of new and neutral oak barrels. Creamy flavors of pear and red apple with a hints of pineapple and vanilla. A nice touch of spice on the finish. Buy This Wine

Jan 142014
2011 Smith-Madrone Vineyard & Winery Chardonnay, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, CA, $30 (S) – Rating 91

Another outstanding effort, especially for those Chardonnay drinkers who prefer balanced oak and acidity. A subtle nose of mom’s apple pie. The red apple notes extend to the palate and round mouth-feel complemented with flavors of ripe pineapple and oaky vanilla. Again, red apple on the finish with hints of baking spice and cinnamon. Buy This Wine

Dec 172013
2012 Dutcher Crossing Winery Stuhlmuller Vineyard Chardonnay, Alexander Valley, CA, $35 – Rating 91

A full bodied Chardonnay that exhibits beautiful balance. A nose of red delicious apple with highlights of caramel. A round mouth-feel with enough acidity for food pairing. The initial pour offers flavors of lemon creme but as it opens notes of red apple, caramel, pie spice and vanilla become more pronounced. Buy This Wine

Nov 202013

2012 Giordano Piemonte “Maestri Italiani” Chardonnay d.o.c., Italy, $14 (S) – Rating 90

A very balanced Chardonnay. Aged Sur-Lie with just the slightest hint of oak to round out the edges but not to overwhelm. From the Piedmont Region of northwest Italy. Soft aromos waft from the glass of red apples and baking spice. On the palate, expect an elegant and plush mouth-feel with a hint of acidity. Flavors of red apple, baking spice, tropicals and a touch of pineapple on the finish. Buy this Wine

Aug 262013
2012 Alpha Omega Winery Unoaked Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Ca, $32 (S) – Rating 91

A refreshingly lean and clean style with crisp yet balanced acidity. A nose of ripe pineapple and a hint of green apple is the prelude to perfectly integrated flavors of lemon creme, ripe pineapple, citrus and complimentary minerality. Paired wonderfully with a summer fruit salad laced with poppy seed dressing. Buy This Wine

Aug 262013
2010 Bohème Taylor Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, CA, $39 (S) – Rating 94

Rarely does a Chardonnay grab my attention but this intriguing contradiction of  the lighter style combined with rich flavors certainly did. Aromas of lemon crème and roasted pineapple set the stage for an elegant marriage of flavors including baked apples, pie spice, Meyer lemon vanilla and cinnamon with hints of green apple in the long finish. A light creamy mouth-feel with balanced acidity. Buy This Wine

Aug 062013
2010 Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, Ca, $31 (S) – Rating 92

Balanced decadence is the term that comes to mind when I consider this wine. An enticing nose of apple, citrus and pineapple with subtle hints of honey and caramel. Flavors of mom’s apple pie, ripe pineapple, pear and vanilla blend seamlessly into the creamy mouth-feel with balanced acidity. Buy This Wine

Aug 062013
2011 Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA, $21 (S) – Rating 93

The blending of grapes aged in both stainless steel and concrete tanks creates an excellent expression of Chardonnay, crisp without sharp edges. The nose hints of tropicals, red apples and creamy pineapple. Food pairing acidity is balanced with a creamy mouth-feel combined with flavors of red apple, baked pears and citrus with notes of minerality on the long finish. One of our favorite 2011 Chardonnays. Buy This Wine

Jul 282013
2011 Stoller Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay , Dundee Hills, OR, $35 (S) – Rating 90

Sourced from the estate’s oldest vines and barrel fermented/aged in French oak. The nose offers aromas of baked pears, spice and soft floral notes. A round mouth-feel with juicy acidity offering flavors of red apple, pear and citrus with hints of vanilla and caramel. A subtle flintiness adds to the complexity. Buy This Wine