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FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Lifted floral aromatics waft from the glass of this citrus-driven Chardonnay. Notes of lemon zest, white grapefruit, and Key lime, are complemented by hints of juniper, struck flint, and melon. The blend of citrus flavors continues in the mouth with an abundance of fresh lemon and orange zest. The juicy finish is carried by notes of lemon balm with zippy acidity.
This richly spiced but vibrant and balanced wine beautifully weaves together subtle oak, rich vanilla, butter, pear and peach flavors, adding toasted almond and baked coconut on the finish. Grown in a noted single vineyard, it is delicious, layered and long on the finish.
- Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
FEL Wines produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from the Anderson Valley. Meticulously crafted by Winemaker Ryan Hodgins, FEL also features a unique portfolio of vineyard designate wines, including both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from our estate Savoy Vineyard. The letters in FEL represent Florence Elsie Lede, founder Cliff Lede’s mother, a home winemaker who provided the early inspiration for Cliff’s love of wine.
Growing up in Alberta, Canada, Cliff remembers the tulip as signifying the end of winter, bringing with it a freshness and excitement of warmer days ahead. The FEL Wines label, featuring an illustration of an opening tulip, is a tribute to Florence’s passion for gardening.
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This Chardonnay leads with clean, fresh aromas of apple, honeydew, white flowers, shortcake and a touch of nuttiness. On the palate, the wine is generous and round, with flavors of citrus tart, white peach, almonds and spice with a delicious combination of minerality and richness. The finish is long.
James Suckling 93 Points
Decanter 93 Points
Russian River Chardonnay Bacigalupi is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
An unmatched heritage. This wine is made from the budwood of the vines that produced the California Chardonnay that rocked the industry by winning the infamous “Judgment of Paris” wine tasting in 1976. And the quality has persisted.
Starting out with aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, crème brulee and jasmine. The palate is fruit driven from beginning to end. Apple pie, melon and stone fruit flavors linger on the tongue. The mid-palate is full and rich, with a touch of minerality. This wine finishes for days with plenty of fruit on the palate, balanced by a delightful pop of acidity.
One of the few Chardonnays built to age, age this beauty over the next 5-10 years - or even longer!
"A beautiful, intense chardonnay with lots of ripe red apples and some mineral and lemon-rind character, as well as just the right amount of vanilla and cream. Full-bodied, dense and layered with lovely intensity and focus at the end. Drink now or hold."
- James Suckling (November 2020), 94 pts
Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle No. 25 is a blend of 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir.
Very pale gold in color with a fine and persistent sparkle and a steady stream of fine bubbles. Fresh, intense, and complex with notes of slightly candied citrus fruits, secondary aromas of pastries, toasted almonds, and subtle hints of honey and gingerbread. A fresh and delicate attack with an impression of fullness, the finish is persistent displaying Grand Siècle’s perfect balance between strength and delicacy.
No. 25 Grand Siècle pairs with the most refined dishes, particularly noble fish and seafood such as lobster.
Vintage in Champagne is usually synonymous with excellence for Prestige Cuvées. Contrarily, Laurent-Perrier has always been convinced that only the art of assemblage can offer what nature can never provide: the perfect year.
The expression of the perfect year is that of a great Champagne wine that over time has developed a depth, intensity and aromatic complexity, yet maintains its freshness and acidity. To create such a wine, Laurent-Perrier will rely on the characteristics of the great vintage years of Champagne: freshness, structure and finesse.
Grand Siècle’s assemblage is based on 3 principles that have now become immutable.
Chardonnay : Cramant, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Pinot Noir : Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Tours-sur-Marne, Mailly.
A prestige Champagne with great density and depth, yet it remains compact and structured, with a combination of fine phenolics, acidity and extract. Lots of flavors of lemon rind, salt, mineral and honeysuckle with an attractive fresh-herb undertone. Then it turns to candied lemons with some ginger. A triumph in complexity and power. A blend of 2008, 2007 and 2006. 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir. 7g/L dosage. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 99 Points
Hoopes Chardonnay Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Serendipity was in the morning air when Maya and Sophie took Lindsay for a walk down a Yountville country lane. Maya, the feisty one, spied a jackrabbit and bounded off in hot pursuit. When Lindsay caught up with her, she found herself surrounded by some fine looking Chardonnay vines. Always on the look-out for the best fruit for Hoopla, with some neighborhood super-sleuthing, Lindsay tracked down the vineyard owner and kept talking until she got his handshake. That chance discovery gave us really great Chardonnay that we offer at a really great price. In fact, chasing rabbits is exactly what we’re talking about. This cheeky Chardonnay will make you want to get into some mischief too.
Our goal with the Hoopla Chardonnay is a fresh juicy wine showcasing flavors and aromas of the grape. A long cool fermentation and aging in stainless steel shines helps preserve the luscious aromas and fruit characters in the wine. Classic notes of fresh pineapple, ripe pear and Fuji apple greet the nose with a lovely warmth and creaminess in the mouth from aging sur-lie in tank without the introduction of oak. This mid-palate breadth yields to an open, clean and refreshing finish. We find ourselves reaching for this crowd-pleasing wine time and time again without fail.
This wine is delicious with roast chicken and buttery mashed potatoes, fish tacos, Chinese chicken salad, lobster mac and cheese, triple crème Brie slathered on French baguette and salt & pepper flavored kettle-cooked potato chips.
Hoopla Chardonnay Napa Valley is made from
This wine has a pretty light straw hue. It offers lovely aromas right out of the glass. Floral, delicate with fruit driven pear, crisp apple lemon notes. There is a creamy inviting vanilla nougat with a refreshing brightness. It is lively in mouth, some might even say a bit racy. Excellent mid plate retention finishes with a mouthwatering, clean minerality, and hint of citrus rind.
Argot Simpatico Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Powerful aromas of key-lime, white flowers, orange blossoms and a fierce, flinty, sauvage note define a wildly complex nose. Once in the mouth, gracefully pronounced textures coat the palate delivering an exotic interpretation of cool-climate Chardonnay character — lime peel, orange blossom, ginger and clove —lingerings deep into a vibrant finish.
Planted 1978. Shallow volcanic soils on the gently-sloped, south-facing foothills of Bennett Peak on Bennett Valley’s floor. One of California’s coolest Chardonnay vineyards. In the final year of 3-year draught cycle, Simpatico Ranch saw its earliest ever harvest and smallest crop, exposing a reserve of exoticism and minerality previously untapped. A watershed vintage for both the vineyard, and appellation. Night harvested by hand on 9/16, whole-cluster pressed direct to barrel; no settling to ensure maximum lees contact. Barrel fermented on heavy lees. Malolactic fermentation. 16 months in French oak, 50% new. Finished 2 months in steel tank, low Sulphur during barrel elevage.
There are 225 cases of the 2019 Chardonnay Simpatico Ranch, which is from a cooler, higher elevation site in Sonoma. Lots of peach, tangerine, honeyed minerality, and toasted hazelnuts all emerge from the glass, and while I don't think it matches the 2018, it's a brilliant Chardonnay offering medium to full-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish. It's beautifully balanced and is going to keep for at least 5-7 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2021), 94 pts
Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.
Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Dominus was harvested from September 29 to October 10. It was aged in 40% new oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose slowly unfurls to unveil beguiling floral notes of candied violets and rose oil over a core of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, and plum preserves, giving way to notions of licorice, Indian spices, iron ore, and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with taut, muscular black fruit layers, intertwined with gorgeous floral and exotic spice accents, and framed by firm, finely grained tannins with seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. Tightly coiled with so much latent energy waiting to explode, this is a spectacular expression of the vintage and Napanook vineyard. Still tightly coiled, give it a good 6-7 years in the cellar before broaching, and allow it a few hours in a decanter if consumed before 2032. 3500 cases made, to be released in May 2022.
-The Wine Independent 100 Points
Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2 % Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Just south of the winery, Bacigalupi Vineyard straddles Westside Road in the upper reach of Russian River Valley. The 125 acre vineyard encompasses a range of terroir, from heavier valley floor soil along the Russian River to alluvial clay loam on the rolling hillsides. The fruit is sourced from a superb block of 25 year-old Wente Clone vines located on the western slope of the site. Bacigalupi was the source of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that, famously, beat the French wines at the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976.
Bacigalupi Chardonnay has a nose of lemon zest and vanilla bean. The palate opens with red pear and Meyer lemon, and brioche toast and honey comb notes on the finish. Like well-made Chardonnay from great vineyards around the world this wine benefits from getting some air, will age for years, and is best when served chilled around 50 degrees. This wine will evolve in the bottle for many years to come. A terrific wine from one of Sonoma County's top sites for Chardonnay.
Fenocchio DOCG Barolo Bussia Riserva is made from 100 percent 100% Nebbiolo.
The color is an intense garnet red with orange reflections. Intense aromas that are typical of nebbiolo - rose, truffle, leather. On the palate it shows hints of black cherry, truffle, spices and notes of aromatic herbs. Subtle and velvety tannin texture of significant depth and complexity. The persistence is pleasantly long.
The Barolo Riserva goes well with red meat dishes, game and aged cheeses, typical of the local cuisine, as well as with many rich international dishes.
"Camphor, ripe berry, forest floor and oak-driven spice aromas lead the nose. Full-bodied and heroically structured, the youthfully austere palate exhibits dried cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and tobacco set against a tannic backbone. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Like the Barolos of Yore, this needs years to come around but will offer decades of pleasure. Drink 2028–2046. - KERIN O’KEEFE"
- Wine Enthusiast (October 2022), 97 pts
Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grown on the west side of St. Helena, this distinctive cabernet sauvignon clearly displays its origins with a rich garnet hue and sophisticated aromas of cacao bean, crème de cassis, and sweet tobacco on the nose. Layered, with a superb structure, the wine offers impressions of blueberry coulis, black raspberry, and savory herbs like Herbs de Provence. The weighty mid-palate unveils anise spice and a graphite mineral note that combines with a fresh acidity that extends the long finish.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard was aged in 70% new oak this vintage, as opposed to 100% as it normally is. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls out of the glass with perfumed rose hip tea, fragrant earth and incense scents, giving way to a core of kirsch, blackberry preserves and blackcurrant pastilles plus a touch of iron ore. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and a refreshing backbone, finishing long and minerally.
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 99 Points