2017 Rapp Ranch Chardonnay Napa Valley

2017 Rapp Ranch Chardonnay Napa Valley

RAPP RANCH

2017 CHARDONNAY
NAPA VALLEY 

2017 Rapp Ranch Chardonnay Napa Valley

 

Some of the most memorable Chardonnays offer a brilliant play between tension and elegance. Rapp Ranch’s 2017 Napa Chardonnay is a stunning example and arose from two different sites that work beautifully together, and harmoniously accentuate the best qualities from one another. This liquid gold was also made by Rudy Zuidema, whom you might recognize as the winemaker for Mastery.

 
The 2017 vintage intertwines fruit from the Truchard Vineyard, which lies just up the hill from Lee Hudson’s Vineyard, as well as the Poseidon Vineyard, which sits directly on the Napa Valley Marina. The Truchard block sits between Far Niente and Nickel and Nickle’s rows and contributes the incredibly opulent and expressive fruit. 
 
The Poseidon Vineyard is planted in clay soils and contributes an electric acidity that lifts the richer fruit from Truchard. It’s the power and muscle behind the pure and delicious Truchard fruit. This beauty is simply one of my favorite Napa Chardonnays that I’ve tasted this year. With 232 cases made, don’t wait to stake your claim. 
 
RAPP RANCH
2017 CHARDONNAY
NAPA VALLEY 
Retails at: $40
 
Your Price: $36
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“The Rapp Ranch Chardonnay is a beautiful expression of grace and elegance from the Los Carneros region of Napa Valley. Golden straw in color, the aromas of Asian pear, oats and French vanilla ice cream remind you of an inviting warm cobbler. The rich and round mouthfeel coats your palate with flavors of candied citrus, macadamia nuts, and cinnamon. A beautiful balance of weight and acid, this wine is sure to disappear quickly!”
2018 Grand Napa Los Carneros Chardonnay

2018 Grand Napa Los Carneros Chardonnay

GRAND NAPA

2018 CHARDONNAY
LOS CARNEROS

2018 Grand Napa Los Carneros Chardonnay

Grand Napa Winery in Rutherford has an eye for locating vineyards that are capable of producing expressive, profound and varietally sound wines. Those of you that have tasted their Reds under their Grand Napa, Heir Apparent or Calculated Risk brands already know what a stunning value they offer. What you may not know is that they also produce a small amount of Chardonnay, and with 129 cases of their Los Carneros bottling, it’s no surprise. We’ve kept a close eye on their Chards over the years, and the moment we tasted this one, we felt like we had struck gold, due to its overwhelming quality and value.
 
Grand Napa’s 2018 Los Carneros Chardonnay is made in a pure and textured style that offers rich and inviting white fruits, impeccable weight and stunning natural acidity, that’s both refreshing and perfectly balances the wine’s subtle yet intriguing opulence.  
 
Carneros Chardonnays offer big fruit, and plenty of structure. It’s the cooling influences from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay that funnel through the Coastal Mountain ranges, and allow the grapes a long growing season, with temperatures cool enough to maintain acidity and structure.
 
GRAND NAPA
2018 CHARDONNAY
LOS CARNEROS
Retails at: $59.99
 
Your Price: $24
 
 
 
The Grand Napa Los Carneros Chardonnay 2018 is beautifully balanced with perfect combination of sweet fruits and rich texture.  It begins on the palate with succulent honey dipped peaches, ripe apricots, lemon curd and highlighted with spring floral characteristics.  It has a beautiful richness on the palate with just enough acidity to give it a shimmering mouthfeel. This is the best Grand Napa Chardonnay that I’ve tasted.  Very well done.” 93 Points

2016 Arietta Quartet Proprietary Red

ARIETTA

2016 QUARTET
PROPRIETARY RED

Harmonious is the first word that comes to mind when tasting Arietta’s Quartet. The wine brings together four Bordeaux varietals in a way that perfectly complements, supports, and defines one-another. The blend was composed by Andy Erickson, who made Screaming Eagle from ’05 – ’10, and he also makes Mayacamas, which just ranked #2 in the recent Wine Spectator Top 100. With 95 Points and a spot on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100, don’t miss this vintage of Arietta Quartet.  

Arietta built this superior blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc around a core of Coombsville fruit that’s paired with carefully chosen sites in Carneros and Calistoga. The 2016 benefits from two new Cabernet Vineyards in Southern Napa that are both managed by one of Napa Valley’s top viticulturists, Mike Wolf. 

The 2016 was finely tuned for 22 months in oak and made its entrance from one of Napa Valley’s most exceptional vintages, and one that the Wine Spectator ranks as the highest-rated vintage since 1997. If you’re looking for a stunningly complex and deeply hedonistic blend to add to your cellar, this one is absolutely singing.

ARIETTA
2016 QUARTET
PROPRIETARY RED
 
Your Price: $68
 
 
Winemaker Andy Erickson coaxes beautiful fruit and structure from this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, many of the grapes from Coombsville and Carneros. Juicy and weighty on the palate in blackberry and blueberry, it offers firm integrated tannin and undeniable elegance, with lovely teases of dried herb, graphite and exotic spice.” 
95 Points, Editors’ Choice, #48 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2019
 
The 2016 Quartet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currants notions with an undercurrent of black plums, mulberries, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus wafts of tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied and laden with decadent black fruit and spicy layers, it has a velvety backbone and long spicy finish.” 94 Points
2017 Baldacci Sorelle Carneros Chardonnay

2017 Baldacci Sorelle Carneros Chardonnay

BALDACCI

SORELLE CHARDONNAY
2017 CARNEROS

 
2017 Baldacci Sorelle Carneros ChardonnayRevered for their lively acidity, Carneros Chardonnays also have big fruit, and plenty of structure. It’s the cooling influences from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay that funnel through the Coastal Mountain ranges, and allow the grapes a long growing season, with temperatures cool enough to maintain acidity and structure. A great example is Baldacci’s Sorelle Chardonnay, which captivated our tasting panel with tangible value. 
 
Michael Baldacci works closely with Ricardo Herrera to craft balanced wines with sense of place, and that are varietally sound. Ricardo gained invaluable experience over the years at icons Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Dominus, and Screaming Eagle…
 
The 2017 vintage arose from Baldacci’s Honey B Vineyard in Carneros, which is farmed by Josh Clark, one of wine country’s most sought after viticulturists whose clients include icons Outpost, Hourglass, and Kinsella. The wine was barrel-aged, and is rich and inviting, with stunning natural acidity and a mouth-quenching freshness.
 
BALDACCI
SORELLE CHARDONNAY
2017 CARNEROS
Retails at: $40
 
 
“Tango. In perfect unison, the oak and fruit support each other without either dominating. Aromas of honey, tangerine peel, fresh oak and pineapple complement the taste of caramel-covered apple, slight hints of cool rock and a beautiful finish of vanilla. The weight of this Chardonnay matches well with full orchestra salads!”
2015 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir

2015 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir

CHERRY PIE

2015 PINOT NOIR
STANLY RANCH

2015 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir
After dominating one varietal for more than a decade, the natural progression is to begin a new challenge and conquer that too. Jayson Woodbridge did just that. His Hundred Acre Cabernets reign as one of the top Cult wines in Napa for over a decade, and choosing Pinot Noir as a challenge, he sourced from the iconic Stanly Ranch Vineyard in Carneros. The 2015 vintage is loaded with concentrated cherry fruit, wild rhubarb, and subtle spice, and with a 95 Point Score from Tasting Panel Magazine, now is the perfect time to try it.  
 
Judge Stanly planted the original Stanly Ranch Vineyard in the 1800s, but since being replanted in 2001, it’s been a source for COHO, Saintsbury, and others. The well-drained Haire-loam soils, rolling hills, and coastal influences are ideal for ripening Pinot Noir to the pinnacle of perfection. 
 
Cherry Pie made the 2015 vintage in a dense style, layered with seductive red fruits, intriguing spices, and subtle floral notes. Each small-block was micro-lot fermented to isolate the individual flavors and aromas, and the wine is aged sur lie for the entire process, which contributes to the depth of flavor. 
 
CHERRY PIE
2015 PINOT NOIR
STANLY RANCH
Retails at: $50
 
Your Price: $45
 
“Stanly Ranch, the easternmost vineyard on the Napa Valley side of Carneros, has proven itself as ideal ground for Pinot Noir for more than 70 years, thanks to its well-drained clayloam soils, gentle slopes, and cool San Pablo Bay breezes.This French oak-aged red offers cinnamon- and nutmeg-spiced rose-petal aromatics and ahint of forest floor. Mocha-tinged soild and strawberry jam fill the mouth with flavor alongside generous notes of tomato leaf, cranberry, and tobacco. Pretty, feminine, and bright.” 95 Points
2015 Laird Ghost Ranch Pinot Noir

2017 Laird Ghost Ranch Pinot Noir

LAIRD 

2017 PINOT NOIR
GHOST RANCH 

2015 Laird Ghost Ranch Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is remarkably versatile, and stylistically it can be crafted in more ways than just about any other varietal, ranging from light, bright and elegant, to deep, rich and opulent, and of course, everything in-between. Laird’s Single-Vineyard Pinot from Ghost Ranch definitely lives on the full-bodied end of the spectrum, and beautifully reflects that style.
 
Ghost Ranch is a stunning 9 acre vineyard located on the Sonoma side of Carneros. The site got its name from vineyard workers that had reported seeing children between the rows of vines, and when approached, they would vanish.
 
The winery has always attracted expert winemakers, and they’re currently made by Brian Mox whom previously consulted for both Lewis and Etude.
 
The 2017 is an idyllic example of a deep, full-bodied, and lavish Pinot Noir that doesn’t give an inch in terms of balance. So, if you enjoy Big Pinots, the scariest thing about Laird’s Ghost Ranch Pinot would be missing out on a case.   
 
LAIRD 
2017 PINOT NOIR
GHOST RANCH
Retails at:  $48.00/btl
 
Your Price: $43/btl
 
Tasting Notes: “The Laird Ghost Ranch Pinot Noir 2017 is a rich, supple wine with bright acidity along with a lush, satiny mouthfeel. It begins with ripe boysenberry, cherry cola and baking spices, with a hint of sweet vanilla. The finish is penetrating and long, with an overall balance that draws you back in, sip after sip…” 93 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
2018 TOR Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay

2018 TOR Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay

TOR

2018 CHARDONNAY
CARNEROS, NAPA VALLEY

2018 TOR Carneros Napa Valley ChardonnayIf you enjoy some of California’s top Chardonnays, and you want to find one at an obtainable price, TOR’s 2018 Carneros Chardonnay is for you. When you read below about the origins of the grapes, and then consider that they’re paired with the immeasurable talents of winemaker Jeff Ames, you might just decide to skip right down to the order button…

Tor’s 2018 Chardonnay is a barrel selection from Steve Beresini’s heritage vines, Larry Hyde’s world-renowned Carneros fruit, and the iconic Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, and any one of these three sites could be considered one of California’s Grand Cru Vineyards.

All three sites were hand-harvested separately, and at their individual optimum ripeness before being pressed directly into small French oak barrels, where winemaker Jeff Ames was then able to identify and capture the best qualities from each vineyard, and harmonize them into something absolutely remarkable.

TOR
2018 CHARDONNAY
CARNEROS, NAPA VALLEY

Your Price: $55/btl

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Winery Notes: “This wine is from three historic Chardonnay vineyards, the sum of this winemaker’s selection is greater than its parts. Steve Beresini’s thirty-year-old, dry-farmed heritage vines gives depth and texture, Hyde Vineyard’s wind-cooled topography gives minerality and precision, Durell vineyard contributes richness and opulence. 470 cases made.” 94 Points ~ International Wine Report

2015 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay

2015 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay

PATZ & HALL 2015 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay

2015 CHARDONNAY
HYDE VINEYARD 

 
What does it really mean to be considered one of California’s Grand Cru Chardonnay Vineyards?  To me, the single most important quality is the level of vivid distinction that the site is able to produce year after year.  It’s these vineyards that can produce the most clear-cut examples of their individualistic terroir that will attract many of the greatest Chardonnay producers to make wine from it.  Larry Hyde’s Vineyard in Carneros makes the short-list of California Chardonnay Vineyards that have reached that status and it’s been a long-time source for icons Pahlmeyer, Ramey, Aubert, Kistler, & TOR, to name just a few… Patz & Hall‘s 2015 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay perfectly expresses the Vineyards profound power, elegance and vivid complexity that have made it so preferred.
 
Founded in 1988 by Donald & Heather Patz, James Hall, and Anne Moses, Patz & Hall built a solid reputation of excellence, and has consistently produced brilliant wines with no shortage of character and overall balance.  Their 2015 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay was barrel fermented after relentless fruit sorting and attention to every detail.  The winery has been working with Hyde fruit since 1990, and in fact it’s their longest grape purchase relationship which began in just their 3rd year of production.  Over the past nearly 30 years, they’ve produced some of my favorite interpretations of this in-arguably renowned site. 
 
PATZ & HALL
2015 CHARDONNAY
HYDE VINEYARD 
Retails at:  $65.00/btl
 
Your Price: $49.99/btl  
YOU SAVE 23%
 

 
Restraint in the use of oak paid off here. Distant smoke mingles with sea air on the nose. It’s on the palate that the ripeness and richness of the wine becomes apparent – there is bundled force and warmth at the centre of this, radiating outward with finessed power. A big but elegant wine. Drinking Window 2020 – 2030″  93 Points

 
 
Rich in green apple and fig, this wine offers medium-bodied weight and breadth and grainy acidity. From the famous site planted to densely concentrated berries, it’s fleshy and textured, with plenty of complexity from spice and oak. 92 Points

 
“…offering subtle glimpses at lemon peel, white peach and orange blossom scents with hints of oyster shells, shaved almonds and coriander seed. Medium bodied with a lovely satiny texture, it offers plenty of mineral and citrus flavors with a long, refreshing finish.91 Points
 
Customers who enjoy Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay  may also enjoy these two terrific Chardonnays…
2016 Lobo Wulf Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Montagu Durell Vineyard Chardonnay
LOBO 
2016 CHARDONNAY
WULF VINEYARD
Retails at:  $60/btl
 

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Tasting Notes:This gorgeous wine highlights a full, intense palate of rich, yet balanced flavors, loaded with Golden Delicious apple, exotic tropical fruit, ripe pear and pineapple flavors. These intriguing characteristics all intermingle on the palate, then slowly taper off with a satisfying sweet vanilla/toasty oak finish. Drink now through 2021.
93 Points, Kevin M Vogt, Master Sommelier
MONTAGU
2017 CHARDONNAY
DURELL VINEYARD
Retails at:  $55/btl
 

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Winery Notes: “This Chardonnay hails exclusively from the Durell Vineyard in Sonoma Coast. The Chardonnay is bright, powerful, and driven by a flinty minerality balanced with tropical fruit notes of white peach, honeyed apricots, and lemon curd with hints of mint and citrus. This wine was fermented in French barrels and spent one year in barrel leading to wonderfully balanced oak integration while sur lee aging developed rich complexity.
2015 Mira Stanly Ranch Los Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir

2015 Mira Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir

MIRA 2015 Mira Stanly Ranch Los Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir

2015 PINOT NOIR
STANLY RANCH

 
Have you ever read about a wine with a narrative so compelling that you knew it was something you absolutely had to have?  That’s what happened when we wrote about Mira’s 2014 Stanly Ranch Pinot and we sold it all out in a matter of hours.  Fortunately for all of us and especially those who missed the 2014, the 2015 is a superb follow-up.  After all, it’s made by winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez, who has two decades of experience at one of the top wine Estates in the world.  He’s responsible for crafting the 2001 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia “Masseto” which received 100 points from Wine Spectator and was described as possibly the best Tuscan red ever…  And the vineyard? You might recognize Stanly Ranch from high-scoring, single-vineyard Pinots made by Saintsbury, Cherry Pie, and Merryvale to name a few.  At $45, this is a Pinot worth trying… Join our Insider’s Club (free) and you may want to stock up with enough to share.  
 
Cut from the historic Stanly Ranch Vineyard on the Eastern side of the Los Carneros Appellation which was originally planted in 1870, this Pinot has terrific intensity, brilliantly detail and plenty of focused fruit.  It has all of the components necessary to be something outstanding and our panel was thrilled with the quality at this modest price point.  Just don’t wait too long to secure yours, because this might go fast. 
 
MIRA
2015 PINOT NOIR
STANLY RANCH
Retails at:  $45/btl
 
 
 
Winery Notes:White chocolate, floral and fruit aromas lead the senses into juicy flavors of fresh plums, sweet berries, hints of tobacco and soft tannins. In its youth this is a very tight wine with an acid back bone that ensures years of complexity.”
2017 Vine Cliff Los Carneros Chardonnay

2017 Vine Cliff Los Carneros Chardonnay

VINE CLIFF 2017 Vine Cliff Los Carneros Chardonnay

2017 CHARDONNAY
LOS CARNEROS

 

This time of year, we start our tastings with nearly two dozen Chardonnays, and see every style from extremely rich, lushious and buttery offerings, to shimmering, unoaked crisp and minerally, Chablis-like examples.  Somewhere in the middle of those very opposite styles you’ll find a perfect balance of concentrated, pristinely focused fruit that perfectly balances the elegant oak and subtle buttery characteristics.  When we find one of these, it really stands out in a crowd of countless others.  Vine Cliff’s 2017 could be the reference-standard for perfectly balanced, intensely powerful Chardonnay…  It is an absolutely pure expression of concentrated fruit with just enough oak and butter characteristics to appeal to anyone that tries it.  If you enjoy Chardonnay, trust me on this one.  It’s one of the best that I’ve tasted in years.

Vine Cliff has a terrific reputation of quality and consistency and is one of Napa Valley’s historic wineries, being established in 1871.  This Chardonnay comes from their  twelve-acre Estate vineyard in the heart of the Los Carneros appellation, an area that’s absolutely perfect for producing perfectly ripe, incredibly balanced Chardonnay fruit.  The fruit was pressed long and slow in a Champagne style to maximize freshness and you’ll taste it in this brilliant Napa Valley Chardonnay.

 
VINE CLIFF
2017 CHARDONNAY
LOS CARNEROS 
Retails at:  $50.00/btl
 

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Winery Notes:Our 2017 Los Carneros Chardonnay opens up with inviting citrus notes of Meyer lemon and mandarin orange, followed by floral notes of honey suckle, and jasmine. A second breath of wine takes you to a place of minerals, with hints of flint and wet stones. The gentle kiss of oak seems to seep through the fruit ever so slowly. The beauty of this vintage is reflected by the perfect balance between fruit, oak, and acid. The palate exhibits a depth of fruit flavors ranging from golden delicious apple, tangelo, and nectarine. On the finish the wine ends with a medley of honey, citrus, and floral notes.
 
Customers who enjoy Vine Cliff Los Carneros Chardonnay may also enjoy these two terrific Chardonnays…
2016 Valdez Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 Martinelli Bella Vigna Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
VALDEZ
2016 CHARDONNAY
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $35/btl 

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Winery Notes:Smooth, full-bodied, and crisp; The 2016 chardonnay fills the palate with juicy citrus fruits, honey, and hints of vanilla. The 2016 vintage is slightly brighter than the 2015 with a touch more acidity that presents a nice freshness in the wine…
MARTINELLI
2016 CHARDONNAY
BELLA VIGNA
Retails at:  $45.00/btl
 
 
The core of Martinelli’s 2016 Bela Vigna Chardonnay comes from the iconic Zio Tony Ranch Vineyard and was brightened with fruit from Martinelli Road.  On the palate, the wine has regal opulence matched with majestic balance, and displays focused flavors spanning from lemon meringue pie and lemon blossoms to honeyed pineapple.