Apr 222013

Wine BlogsChardonnay, in my opinion, gets a bad rap. Sure some are over-blown and flabby, but face it…many folks enjoy that creamy buttery profile that comes from oak and malolactic fermentation; good for them. That said, stainless steel fermented Chardonnay can be lean and crisp and many are somewhere in between. Just about anyone who enjoys white wine can find a Chardonnay to suit their palate.

So for those who prescribe to the tired ABC adage “Anything But Chardonnay,” I say phooey…This summer I’m “All In for Chardonnay!”

Below is a re-cap of some of the most enjoyable Chardonnays we’ve reviewed in the last few months. Stylistically they run the whole Chardonnay gambit… Cheers

Trione Vineyards & Winery River Road Ranch Chardonnay 2009

2009 Trione Vineyards & Winery River Road Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, CA, $25 (S) – Rating 90

A beautiful nose of red apple, ripe pineapple and notes of pie crust. This Chardonnay offers up a soft and creamy mouth-feel with flavors of red apple and pear with a perfect pitch of oaky vanilla. For those who prefer a creamy style of Chardonnay…This is a balanced winner. Buy This Wine

Moone-Tsai Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010

2010 Moone-Tsai Napa Valley Chardonnay, Bald Mountain Vineyard, CA, $55 (S) – Rating 93

For those who enjoy balanced oak and creamy malolactic flavors, this is an extraordinary Chardonnay. Give it about 15 minutes to fully open. These grapes, from high in Mayacamas Mountains, offer aromas of caramelized pineapple, honeycomb, ripe pear and vanilla. The creamy mouth-feel with a touch of acidity evolves into flavors of red apple, baking spice, vanilla and a hint of yeasty pie crust. No mindless patio sipper – Give this Chardonnay some thought. Buy This Wine

Ca’ Momi Winery Chardonnay 2011

2011 Ca’ Momi Winery Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Ca, $20 (S) – Rating 88

An enjoyable Chardonnay with a nose of citrus and grilled pineapple with just a hint of red apple. Balanced acidity and slightly creamy with flavors of tropicals, citrus and pineapple combined with subtle notes of vanilla and caramel Just a touch of of apple on the finish. Buy This Wine

Smith-Madrone Chardonnay 2010

2010 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, CA, $30 (S) – Rating 92

A truly crafted Chardonnay with an enchanting nose of baked apples, ripe citrus and even notes of grilled pineapple. Crisp flavors of ripe red apples, caramel and baking spice with subtle notes of oaky vanilla. Add a touch of minerality combined with perfectly balanced acidity and you have one heck of a wine. But one would expect nothing less from the Smith brothers. Buy This Wine

Franciscan Estate Chardonnay 2011

2011 Franciscan Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA, $18 (S) – Rating 88

A pleasant nose of Meyer lemon, cream, green apple and vanilla. A round mouth-feel with notes of tartness. Flavors of Meyer lemon, tropical citrus, and green apple are followed by a vanilla creamy finish. Enough crisp minerality for good foodie possibilities. Buy This Wine

Ceja Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

2009 Ceja Vineyards Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Carneros, CA, $34 (S) – Rating 91

A crisp style of Chardonnay with an appealing nose of pineapple cream, Meyer lemon and canned pears. Sur lie aging creates a round soft mouth-feel without the flabbiness found in some CA Chards. Well balanced acidity with flavors of green apple, Meyer lemon, ripe pineapple with other tropical notes makes this wine a great food pairing partner. Buy This Wine

Silver Buckle Lodi Chardonnay 2011

2011 Silver Buckle Lodi Chardonnay, CA, $18 (S) – Rating 90

Served at a get-together of wine lovers, this Chardonnay was a big hit. Creamy without being flabby. Lush tropicals on the nose, pineapple, ripe pear and a hint of green apple. A round mouth-feel with a subtle hint of sweetness and zippy acidity. Flavors of tropicals,  green apple, ripe pineapple and pear with notes of minerality. Buy This Wine

Buena Vista Winery Chardonnay 2009

2009 Buena Vista Winery Chardonnay, Carneros, CA, $20 (S) – Rating 4.0

A lush full mouth-feel (typical Carneros Chardonnay body) with plenty of acidity to keep things interesting, especially at the $20 price point. An intriguing nose of apple, pear and citrus with notes of caramel and a hint of nuttiness. The palate is treated to flavors of pear and pineapple with added notes of caramel and minerality. Great with food or as a stand-alone sipper. Buy This Wine

Inman Family Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2011

2011 Inman Family Russian River Valley Chardonnay, CA, $35 (S) – Rating 91

This Chardonnay offers a lovely combination of rich flavors and crisp acidity. The nose of baked apples and ripe pineapple gives way to flavors of ripe red apple, roasted pineapple, Meyer lemon and intriguing minerality with a hint of creaminess. As the wine opens, subtle yet complex notes of vanilla and caramel dance in the finish. Buy This Wine

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