Tag: Chardonnay

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards 2016 Reata Chardonnay

There are so many expressions of Chardonnay. And while I’ve known that in theory for quite some time, it seems to me that lately—within the last two years even—winemakers are taking advantage of what that really means. Any where from round and doughy to crisp to fruit forward, and the whole spectrum that spreads between. Get a good Chardonnay from a reputable winemaker, and he or she will only use the techniques that will showcase the vineyard and vintage. That is the direction Chardonnay is going: while its tastes and textures are still nearly 100% reliant on the winemaker, winemakers seem to be working with the grape, instead of just completely…working the grape.

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Ranch 32 2016 Chardonnay

I’m loving the cool climate wines from Ranch 32. From their Cabernet Sauvignon to their Pinot Noir, they truly keep the essence of the fruit in the bottle. And this Chardonnay is no exception. Aged completely in stainless steel, just a kiss of ML in the blend, Ranch 32 truly knows what “minimalistic winemaking” means. Bonus point: this restrained Chardonnay comes at an affordable price, which means you can enjoy this wine just as easily with a mid-week meal as you could on date night.

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Flora Springs 2017 Family Select Chardonnay

I love pretty much everything from Flora Springs. You can click on that link and see all the rave reviews I’ve done on their wines — from hearty red blends indicative to Napa Valley to an enjoyably (and surprisingly) minimalistic Sauvignon Blanc. But, for me Chardonnay from Napa is a hard sell — I find many winemakers in the area, for whatever reason, seem to overwork the grape with either too much new oak influence or too much ML, or in some cases both.

While I enjoyed this Flora Springs Chardonnay (especially with the appropriate cheese!) I do have somewhat of a mixed review…

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Savannah-Chanelle 2016 Tondre’s Grapefield Chardonnay

This is a wine that is quite special to me. I’m lucky enough to have winemakers send me their wines, invite me to visit, experience their vineyards. And I’ve discovered some beautiful — and very special — wines this way. But there is a special cubby hole in my heart and in my head I save for those wines I discover alongside my partner on a random excursion into wine country. Savannah-Chanelle had the added benefit of being close to our first home together, which was closer to San Francisco’s South Bay wine country — where the terroir and, thus, the varietal expressions are wholly different.

On Saturday nights we celebrate date night, when, if we have nothing else to toast, we toast each other. So cin-cin and cheers to us…

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J. Cage Cellars 2016 Schmidt Home Vineyard Chardonnay

I’ve been having a hard time with Chardonnay lately. I’ve been finding them too overworked: either over-oaked or incorporating too much malolactic fermentation — in the worst cases both. I don’t like to start off a post with a negative, but you have to understand where I’m coming from. The Chardonnay’s of late have left me wondering — what does Chardonnay actually taste like? What is its entity? What is its innate nature? Ok, I’ll go there…where is its soul?

I found it. Here. With this wine. This is the Chardonnay I’ve been looking for. This is the pretty much the Chardonnay I want to always be in my cellar.

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