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
Jip Jip Rocks Chardonnay is made from 100 percent unoaked Chardonnay.
Light yellow with a pale straw hue. A classic nose of lemon, fresh stonefruit and melon. The palate is clean and fresh with mineral characters underpinning ripe pineapple and lime flavours. This wine will age beautifully over the next 4-5 years.
Winemaking report: Gentle pressing and free run juices create the base of this wine. Traditionally Jip Jip Rocks Chardonnay is a 2/3 blend fermented and matured in stainless steel and 1/3 fermented in stainless steel, which receives extended lees contact to add texture and complexity to the palate.
Attractively fruited and fragrant, the wine shows golden peach, baked fig, vanilla and lemon peel aromas on the nose, followed by a succulent palate that’s creamy and lingering. Beautifully styled and highly enjoyable. At its best: now to 2023. AU$23.00. Dec 2019.
-Wine Orbit 92 Points
MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay always delivers something special and unique, and this vintage is no exception. Both intricate and exotic, this wine begins with alluring fruit aromas of Meyer lemon and fresh pineapple. On the palate, a round, rich mouthfeel accentuates Wildcat’s signature high-tone notes of honey and spice. At the same time, thanks to Wildcat’s windy growing conditions, which thicken the grape skins, it has engaging structure and body.
The 2019 Chardonnay Wildcat Mountain showed nicely, with a reductive, mineral-laced, medium-bodied style as well as pretty citrus and stone fruits, lots of white flowers, and subtle spice and nuttiness, integrated acidity, and light background oak. It's well worth following over the coming 4-6 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Rich and well-structured, with honeyed accents to the apple and pear tart flavors. Toasty and light buttery accents linger on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2024. 809 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 91 Points
Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
A vibrant blend derived from our revered vineyards that are defined by the region's cooling fog and warm afternoon sunshine reveals a pale straw color in the glass and aromas of white florals, ground ginger, and Mandarin orange. Golden Delicious apple and Meyer lemon give way to complex flavors of baking spice and piecrust that add a round texture to accompany its bright acidity, framing the long finish.
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
Chamisal Vineyards Monterey Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This full-bodied wine exhibits classic varietal characteristics with aromas of toasted oak and crème brûlée. The entry is fruit driven with hints of lemon cream, Fuji apple, ripe pineapple and baked pear, leading to a rich and creamy mid-palate. Finishing clean with lingering acidity and broad texture, the wine is a beautiful example of Monterey County Chardonnay
Clean lines of pear, peach and coconut are cut by a splash of citrus on the nose of this bottling. The palate is tense in structure and fairly sharp, offering flavors of pineapple and lemon peel.
-Wine Enthusiast 90 Points
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.
In 2008, fourth generation farmer and aspiring winemaker Giovanni Balistreri, under the tutelage of award-winning winemaker Anthony Austin, set out to reclaim the rich history and enormous un-tapped potential of one of Sonoma County’s finest wine-making estates. The estate lies in the heart of the Russian River Valley and thus proudly and appropriately bears the Russian River Valley appellation.
The winemakers understood the potential of this small estate, but even more importantly, they had come to know the special region in which it sits. This was not a place to build a large, corporate winery to produce wine in high volume. It was a place where a careful, patient approach could produce world-class wine. And in the decade since, the venerable estate has been returning to its former glory.
At Russian River Vineyards, they don’t mystify the winemaking process. They are farmers, first and foremost. Gio, the winemaker, is a product of four generations of farmers, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. To produce great wine, you must first produce excellent fruit. And it is the essential character and flavor of that fruit, when it is harvested, that will determine its potential to become a superior wine. There is no shortcut. You have to be there and manage the crop at every step. They are hands-on farmers, not only with their estate-grown grapes, but they also directly manage the farming of all vineyards from which they produce wine, whether they own the property or not. If they don’t farm it, they don’t make wine from it.
Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Washington State Cabernet.
Acclaimed Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn has a reputation for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. He brings more than four decades of winemaking experience to the Columbia Valley to produce Feather, his only wine made outside of California.
Tasting Notes: Deep crimson colored with pure and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon character. Generous aromas and flavors of dark fruits, violets, coffee and toasted herbs combine with a textured mid-palate to deliver a big, yet focused, wine with polished tannins and persistent finish.
Winemaking: Grapes were hand-harvested at the peak of ripeness, then lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation was underway, the cap was pumped over aggressively to extract color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavors without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 90% new Vicard French oak barrels (Randy's cooper of choice at Dunn Vineyards as well).
TA: 0.58 grams / 100ml
I always love this wine, and the 2017 Feather is no exception. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and brought up in 88% new French oak, it has loads of black fruits, dark chocolate, graphite, and charcoal aromatics as well as a full-bodied, concentrated, backward style on the palate. It's terrific, but don't open bottles for at least another 3-4 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
"Sous la Velle" takes its name from its location 'under the village' of Saint Romain. The vineyards enjoy a steep and south facing exposure, planted on marl scree with the vines taking root in the limestone and offering a beautiful minerality to the wine. The nose expresses small red and black fruits, blackcurrant, cherry, raspberry and violet. The mouth provides a rich, supple and elegant wine with a good structure, pure fruit and vibrant acidity.
After destalking the grapes, the juice, skin and pulp are put into the vat for cold maceration. It lasts from 15 to 18 days. The alcoholic fermentation will follow, lasting from 5 to 6 days. These steps may be punctuated by push-downs. Aging in oak for 12 months.
Pork Filet Mignon, Pike Perch, Tomme de Morvan Cheese.