2018 Marimar Estate Acero Unoaked Chardonnay Russian River Valley

2018 Marimar Estate Acero Unoaked Chardonnay Russian River Valley Don Miguel Vineyard

MARIMAR ESTATE

ACERO UNOAKED CHARDONNAY
2018 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
DON MIGUEL VINEYARD

2018 Marimar Estate Acero Unoaked Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Marimar Estate’s Don Miguel Vineyard is in Green Valley, the coolest, foggiest part of the Russian River. The site is influenced by traditional Mediterranean viticultural practices and planted in a high-density European-style with more than 2,000 vines per acre, which naturally encourages low-yields with concentrated, and balanced flavors. The winemaking team selected specific blocks with great intensity and aromatics within the vineyard for their Acero Unoaked Chardonnay, which at around $25, is a serious value. 
 
Don Miguel Vineyard is organically farmed and contains desirable sandy loam, Goldridge soils of volcanic origin, and marine sediment. The high-density planting promotes vines to live longer and achieve fruit with greater concentration and more elegance and finesse. 
 
Marimar Torres teamed up with Bill Dyer, legendary winemaker at Sterling Vineyards, for 20 years to produce the best wines possible from the Estate. The wine team ages and ferments their Acero Chardonnay in 100% stainless steel to capture the purity of flavors and the fruit’s most natural essence.
 
MARIMAR ESTATE
ACERO UNOAKED CHARDONNAY
2018 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
DON MIGUEL VINEYARD
Retails at: $34
 
Your Price: $25
 
 
“Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, this wine never sees oak. A floral aroma of honeysuckle wrangles the nose as a crisp palate brings flavors of pear, peach and lavender. Stony minerality defines the texture, and the finish carries a touch of honey.”
90 Points
 
“This has a bright, green-melon and apple nose with light, flinty nuances. The palate has a supple, white-peach and pear core. Fresh, light and clean. Drink now.”
90 Points
 
“There are lots of stony notes to the open-textured, spicy Gala apple, dried apricot and quince flavors of this white. The plush finish offers plenty of creaminess. Drink now.”
89 Points
2018 Rochiolo Pinot Noir Estate, Russian River

2018 Rochiolo Pinot Noir Estate, Russian River

ROCHIOLI 

2018 PINOT NOIR 
ESTATE, RUSSIAN RIVER

2018 Rochiolo Pinot Noir Estate, Russian River
Rochioli is one of the most distinguished vineyards in North America, and it’s revered for producing powerful and vividly distinct berries. The family recognized the potential to grow world-class Burgundian varieties on their property early on. Their first release was named The Best Pinot Noir in America by the Wine Spectator, and decades later, the following for their brand is more robust than ever.
 
The 2018 Russian River Pinot Noir represents the essence and character of the entire Estate by intricately combining five of the winery’s coveted single-vineyards; Sweetwater, Little Hill, Big Hill, West Block, and East Block. 
 
Tom Rochioli’s winemaking philosophy of producing terroir-driven wines made with minimal intervention, and built on a foundation of superb fruit, helped make them one of the top producers in North America. The 2018 release is supremely balanced, concentrated, and powerfully focused.
 
ROCHIOLI 
2018 PINOT NOIR 
ESTATE, RUSSIAN RIVER
 
Your Price: $89.99
 
 
“This blockbuster wine is a single-vineyard blend of the winery’s best blocks, including 40% Sweetwater, 39% Little Hill, 12% Big Hill, 6% West Block and 3% East Block. Together, they find unison in spicy, woody and earthy tones of white pepper and tingling acidity. It delivers a powerful freshness followed by forest notes, black tea and baked strawberry.”
97 Points
 
“A good value in world-class Pinot Noir, the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley comes from a mix of the estate’s single vineyard and was 95% destemmed and brought up in French oak. It has a great red fruit-driven core as well as lots of floral and spice notes, medium body, great acidity, and no shortage of length on the finish. It’s great today and will shine for 7-8 years.”
94 Points
 
“The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate is such a pretty wine. Crushed red berries, rose petal, mint, spice and blood orange infuse the 2018 with tremendous character, especially at this level. A Pinot of precision and nuance, the 2018 Estate brilliantly shows the direction Tom Rochioli has taken his wines in recent years. Readers will find an especially compelling edition of the Estate in 2018.”
93 Points
 
“Powerful and pure-tasting, with underbrush accents and hints of white pepper to the dark currant and dried raspberry flavors. Cedary in the midpalate, with a long finish of dried beef and loamy notes. Drink now through 2025.”
93 Points
2018 Kanzler Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2018 Kanzler Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

KANZLER

2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2018 Kanzler Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Kanzler’s Russian River Pinot is flawlessly balanced and epitomizes cool-climate, domestic Pinot Noir at the highest level, making it the appropriate choice as my number 1 wine in 2020. Even after tasting around 5,000 wines this year, Kanzler is fresh on my mind. Their team utilizes top-level farming practices, skilled winemaking, and they source from some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in California. At $60, this is one of the finest domestic Pinot Noirs that I’ve tasted. 
 
The winery’s Estate Vineyard in Sebastapol has well-drained Goldridge soils and a fog blanket from the Pacific that’s ideal for growing Pinot Noir. Their vineyard caught the eye of Kosta Browne, who’s made a single-vineyard Pinot from Kanzler for nearly 20 consecutive vintages. This 2018 is primarily Estate fruit and includes almost 25% fruit from Walker Station Vineyard, a source for Paul Hobbs for years. 
 
Kanzler set out to make the best Pinot possible from their Estate. To meet their goal, they exercise everything from meticulous farming to double-hand sorting. They also utilize partial whole-cluster fermentation for added depth. Their winemaking is gentle, precise, and skilled, and the results are simply stunning.
 
KANZLER
2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $59.99
 
“This gorgeous Pinot Noir begins with a deep, rich, concentrated nose including tart candied red fruits, opulent black fruits, fresh sage, delicate rose petals, and gunflint. On the palate, it combines compact, bright fruit featuring focused Burgundy plums, ripe Bing cherries, tart pomegranates, dried currants, and baking spices. Its finish is decadent, very alluring and complex with an incredible intensity that’s powerful, lush and long, along with an incredible balance that gives me goosebumps.”
96 Points
 
Winery Notes: “The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wine is opulent and rich while still displaying great freshness. The classic silky Pinot texture is more chocolate mousse than heavy whipping cream, and the tannins show enough grip to hold and frame the wine without being bitter or obtrusive. The high percentage of once-used barrels imparts a subtle oak characteristic that enhances and compliments the fruit and spice character. After opening for several hours, exotic sweet-spice notes reminiscent of liquors in the Vin Santo or Fernet range begin to appear, further enhancing the intrigue and complexity of this Pinot Noir.”
2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Vineyard Concrete Fermented

2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Vineyard Concrete Fermented

MARTIN RAY

2019 CHARDONNAY
DUTTON RANCH VINEYARD
CONCRETE FERMENTED 

2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Vineyard Concrete Fermented
Chardonnay is highly-expressive and transparent in both the terroir and fermentation method. Most Chardonnays are either barrel or stainless steel tank fermented, but there’s been a resurgence in Concrete Egg fermentation, and for a good reason. The convex shape of a Concrete Egg creates a vortex that persuades the natural lees to be suspended throughout the vessel, resulting in more body, flavors, textures, and softer acidity. Martin Ray’s Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is a brilliant example, and with a 95 point score and priced at just $25, I highly recommend it.
 
Dutton Ranch Vineyard is in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the greater Russian River Valley. The Goldridge sandy loam soils and near-proximity to the Pacific provide the ideal growing conditions for premium Chardonnay grapes. Luminaries Kistler, Patz & Hall, & DuMOL have all sourced grapes from it. 
 
With a 95 point score and priced at just $25/btl, Martin Ray’s Concrete Fermented Dutton Ranch Chardonnay offers detailed tropical fruits, perfect balance, and stony minerality. They aged this incredible wine for ten months sur lie and inside concrete eggs, contributing to the beautiful textures, flavors, and body. 
 
MARTIN RAY
2019 CHARDONNAY
DUTTON RANCH VINEYARD
CONCRETE FERMENTED
Retails at: $35
 
Your Price: $25
 
“This is a Dutton Ranch chardonnay, showing cooked-apple, lemon and peach character with praline and vanilla undertones. Opulent, yet in check. Full-bodied and layered. Very long and flavorful. No wood here. Fermented and aged in concrete eggs. Such a beautiful and pure single-vineyard Sonoma white. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
95 Points
 
“Vibrant Eureka lemon zest, fresh peach and racy minerality with touches of Acacia flower. Layers of subtle pear and underripe nectarine beneath mouthwatering acidity, over a clean, linear palate.”
2018 Gamba Zinfandel Starr Road Ranch

2018 Gamba Zinfandel Starr Road Ranch

GAMBA

2018 ZINFANDEL
STARR ROAD RANCH

2018 Gamba Zinfandel Starr Road Ranch
Gus Gamba specializes in ancient vines and can act as a human conduit for those vines to tell their best story in every vintage. In 2018, the tale flowed seamlessly, and Gus noted that this harvest was one of the smoothest he had ever experienced. The century-old vines of Starr Road Ranch produced intensely flavored berries with a powerful focus and brilliant detail. With solid reviews from Robert Parker and Jeb Dunnuck, now is the time to secure yours.
 
The Starr Road Ranch Zin comes from an organically farmed vineyard planted in 1920, where the ancient 95 year old vines rely on winter rains as their sole source of irrigation. They yield just 1.5 tons per acre of strikingly intense, concentrated, pristinely focused fruit.
 
Gus and his winemaking team double hand-sort the berries, with only the best making their way into fermentors. Next, the 2018 release spent an impressive 18 months aging in primarily American oak barrels, contributing to the spice characteristics. 
 
 
GAMBA
2018 ZINFANDEL
STARR ROAD RANCH
Retails at: $52
 
Your Price: $45
 
“The 2018 Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Ranch has restrained aromas of cranberry sauce, apricots and sweet berry fruits with accents of aniseed and bitter citrus peel. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with dense fruits set in a chewy frame and finishing slightly warm.”
91 Points
 
“Spice box, cedarwood, brambly herbs, and red and black plum notes all emerge from the 2018 Zinfandel Starr Road Ranch. Medium-bodied, with a core of sweet fruit as well as a focused style on the palate, it’s a pleasure-bent Zinfandel to drink in its youth.”
89 Points
 
“The 2018 Gamba Starr Road Old Vine Zinfandel exhibits a brilliant and beautiful, deep scarlet color. The aroma offers dark berries, blackberry compote, brown spices and a compelling hint of creamy oak. The wine is medium to full in body, with a mouth-watering, and full throttle fruit profile. Balanced, yet rich with dark black fruits, cinnamon stick, freshly baked butter pie crust with a note of cocoa and spice that fill the palate. The wine is woven with a lifting acidity that propels the wine giving it a pleasant buoyancy and freshness on the palate. The texture is polished, with soft leathery tannins. This is a classic Old Vine Zinfandel that will deserve a special place in your cellar. The finish is youthful, and intense, and enjoyable now, but will continue to get better with time in the cellar.”
2017 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2017 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

JOSEPH JEWELL 

2017 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2017 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Inspired by the North Coast’s unique micro-climates, Joseph Jewell Winery began with 50 cases of Pinot Noir made in a garage in Windsor and has evolved into a boutique winery run by a passionate proprietor that works with a collection of vineyards on the North Coast. Their Russian River Pinot made my top five wines of the year list on two separate occasions, and the value is abundant in the newly released 2017 vintage.
 
The 2017 Russian River Pinot combines fruit from renowned vineyards Hallberg, Starscape, and Bucher Vineyards and a new site called 800 vines, which sits just feet from the winemakers home. 
 
This release is vibrant and beautifully knit with intense black cherry, ripe raspberries, rhubarb, and wild rose on the palate. Like the previous vintages, the fleshy, rich textures are sublime and have become a hallmark of this brand.
 
JOSEPH JEWELL 
2017 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Retails at: $40
 
 
“The 2017 release is another beautiful Pinot Noir expression that Joseph Jewell produced in their Russian River Valley offering. The bright, elegant nose begins with mixed berries, red cherries, cola, white flowers, and light baking spices. The mouthfeel is supple with an elegant, lush texture, carrying a beautiful combination of concentrated cherries, red plum, red currants, and a touch of vanilla. The finish is seamless with a beautiful balance of fruit and complexity and drinks great now.” 92 Points
2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

KANZLER

2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2018 Kanzler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Kanzler was first to plant grapes in the Sebastapol hills Southwest of the town of Sebastapol, where the well-drained Goldridge soils and fog blanket from the Pacific turned out to be ideal for Pinot Noir grapes. Their vineyard quickly caught the eye of Kosta Browne, who made a single-vineyard Pinot from their vineyard for nearly 20 consecutive vintages. Kanzler’s own 2018 Russian River Pinot is primarily Estate fruit and includes almost 25% fruit from Walker Station Vineyard, which was a source for Paul Hobbs for years. At $60, this is one of the finest domestic Pinot Noirs that I’ve tasted.
 
Kanzler set out to make the best Pinot possible from their Estate. To meet their goal, they exercise everything from meticulous farming to double-hand sorting. They also utilize partial whole-cluster fermentation for added depth. Their winemaking is gentle, precise, and skilled, and the results are simply stunning. 
 
The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot is from 65% Estate fruit, blended with sites sharing similar, and complementing qualities. The wine balances penetrating and remarkably detailed fruit with silky tannins and fresh acidity. It’s my go-to wine in the shop to grab to take to dinner, and one of my favorite Pinots that I’ve tasted this year.
 
KANZLER
2018 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $59.99
 
 
“The 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir wine is opulent and rich while still displaying great freshness. The classic silky Pinot texture is more chocolate mousse than heavy whipping cream, and the tannins show enough grip to hold and frame the wine without being bitter or obtrusive. The high percentage of once-used barrels imparts a subtle oak characteristic that enhances and compliments the fruit and spice character. After opening for several hours, exotic sweet-spice notes reminiscent of liquors in the Vin Santo or Fernet range begin to appear, further enhancing the intrigue and complexity of this Pinot Noir.”
2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

JOSEPH JEWELL 

2016 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2016 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
There are many reasons why Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir is the only wine that I’ve featured on my top-five-wines of the year list more than once. The most distinctive trait that’s become a hallmark of this wine is the satiny texture and weight on the palate, which is sublime. Every time I taste it, I’m perplexed that a wine we can offer at this value price can taste like it costs more than double. 
 
Joseph Jewell marries fruit from renowned sites Hallberg, Floodgate, and Bucher Vineyards. Williams-Selyem and Gary Farrell Pinot fans likely recognize these sites as being spectacular.  
 
On the palate, the 2016 vintage is full, rich and opens up to a basket of black cherries, ripe raspberries, black tea, and blue violets. The wine team elevated it for around 11 months in French oak, and then it blossomed generously over the last three years in the bottle.
 
JOSEPH JEWELL 
2016 PINOT NOIR
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Retails at: $40
 
 
 
“Doubling down on the extreme quality that Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has produced in previous vintages, the 2016 sets an all new high water mark. The alluring nose has the most beautiful blend of pomegranate, red pie cherries, mixed florals and hints of spice. The mesmerizing mouthfeel has a supple, satiny texture, along with a mouth-filling explosion of ripe black raspberries, sweet red plums, tart cranberry, cherry cola, chamomile tea and asian spice. The rich, supple texture and concentrated flavors are perfectly balanced by a mouth-quenching freshness that leaves me begging for another sip. I am seriously sitting here shaking my head and trying to remember if I have ever had as great a wine at this low price. Don’t think so.” 98 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
2018 Hunter Glenn Chardonnay RRV

2018 Hunter Glenn Chardonnay RRV

HUNTER GLENN

2018 CHARDONNAY
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2018 Hunter Glenn Chardonnay RRVWhen you find a tiny producer making stratospherically high-quality wines from great vineyards, AND, they price them like they’re making them for friends and family, enjoy it while you can… Hunter Glenn sources their 150 case production Chardonnay exclusively from the Starscape Vineyard, located near icons Ritchie and Kistler. The Vineyard was previously known as Floodgate, and Gary Farrell fans likely recognize it. At $30, this micro-produced Chardonnay is ridiculously good. 

The Shifflett family’s home ranch neighbors icons Dominus and Trethefen in Napa Valley, but they source their grapes from Starscape for their Chardonnay. The Vineyard’s maritime influence and Pájaro Clay Loam soils make it perfect for ripening Chardonnay to the peak of perfection. 
 
Proprietor Jeff Shifflett isn’t just a talented grower, but he’s also a gifted winemaker. Jeff worked harvest in Australia before spending time at both Cakebread and Elyse. His Chardonnay has vibrant, opulent fruit that is perfectly balanced, and an absolute joy to drink. 
 
HUNTER GLENN
2018 CHARDONNAY
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $29.99
 
 
 
 
Sunny pale yellow in color, with aromas of crisp, sweet apples and wet river rocks. A vein of minerality runs from the nose through the palate, supporting a creamy mouth of subtle tropical fruits combined with lemon curd and stone fruit. A pleasing, lingering finish is ripe, without being any bit oakey or buttery. This is the Chardonnay for everyone!” 
2018 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley

2018 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley

LIMERICK LANE

2018 ZINFANDEL
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2018 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley

 
When a winery employs the right combination of talent and drive, the sky is the limit… Limerick Lane is owned by fourth-generation winemaker Jake Bilbro who grew up at his father’s Marietta Cellars, where he spent 16 years running the winery with his dad. The wines are made by Chris Pittenger, who gained first-hand experience working at iconic wineries Biale, Torbreck, Marcassin, and Williams-Selyem. The delicious result is in each bottle of this impressive 95 Point Russian River Zinfandel.
 
Limerick Lane’s Russian River Zinfandel at the core is a field blend, which includes ancient Zinfandel vines interplanted with other rare varieties like Pelousin and Negrette. The fruit is co-fermented and offers unparalleled power, depth, and stunning definition.  
 
The 2018 was built around a base of Estate fruit and includes grapes from Sodini, which Bedrock and Carlisle fans might recognize. The vintage also perfectly balances fruit from Webber, Katz-Ponzo & Banfield Vineyards. The result is a brilliant wine that Zinfandel fans will be rejoicing over for years to come.
 
LIMERICK LANE
2018 ZINFANDEL
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $39.99
Click to Order
 
 
 
“The 2018 Zinfandel Russian River Estate shows the quality of the vintage beautifully. Classic black and blue fruits, violets, peppery herbs, and spiced orange zest notes all emerge from the glass, and this puppy hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges, a seamless texture, and just everything in the right places. Flawlessly balanced and already a joy to drink, it’s going to keep for 10-12 years in cold cellars.” 95 Points