2017 Heitz Cellar Chardonnay Napa Valley

2017 Heitz Cellar Chardonnay Napa Valley

HEITZ CELLAR

2017 CHARDONNAY
NAPA VALLEY

2017 Heitz Cellar Chardonnay Napa Valley
Heitz Cellar crafts their Napa Valley Chardonnay in a clean and refreshing style that highlights the fruit’s purest expression. They’ve been perfecting their craft for nearly 60 years, and back in the 60s and 70s, they labeled their Chardonnay “Chablis.” In the 80s, they began bottling single-vineyard Chardonnays from Trailside and Heitz Vineyard. Their 2017 is a timeless classic that harkens to the old days of Napa Chardonnay with delicate details and outstanding balance. 
 
The 2017 release combines fruit from Oak Knoll, Rutherford, St Helena, and Yountville. It highlights the rich, ripe fruit characteristics of the warmer climates up-valley and balances them with the structure and acid from the cooler Oak Knoll District. 
 
Aged for an impressive three years in a combination of stainless steel, French oak, and in the bottle before release, the 2017 vintage is fresh and lively, offering vivid island fruits, Meyer lemon, toasted hazelnut, and Key lime. I strongly recommend a case of this classic Napa Chardonnay for your cellar.
 
HEITZ CELLAR
2017 CHARDONNAY
NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $38
 
Your Price: $35
 
“This is one of the last bastions of Napa Chardonnay that retains the ethos of winemaking from the 1970s and ’80s. A blend of mainly Rutherford and Oak Knoll fruit, it undergoes no malolactic fermentation and is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. Aromas of lemon meringue, key limes and orchard fruit blossoms lead to an angular, focused and pure palate. An authentic example of a past time. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035”
92 Points
 
“The Palate expresses hints of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and freshly baked sweet apple tarts. The fresh fruit aroma is complemented by subtle notes of toasted hazelnut, honey suckle, and white floral characteristics. Its fresh, bright acidity pleases the palate while balanced by a smooth richness that we obtain through sur-lie aging.”
2016 Chateau De Messey Burgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes

2016 Chateau De Messey Burgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes

CHATEAU DE MESSEY

BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY
2016 VIEILLES VIGNES 

2016 Chateau De Messey Burgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes
It’s not easy finding $26 domestic Chardonnays that are powerful, concentrated, and well-balanced, but in Burgundy, we sometimes uncover great values in the broad Bourgogne classification. Bourgogne covers an extensive area and can include any Pinot Noir or Chardonnay produced in Burgundy. Located in the Maconnais region within Burgundy, Chateau de Messey is well-known for producing extraordinary values in Chardonnay, and their Vieilles Vignes (Old Vines) Bourgogne Chardonnay is a brilliant example of a value white Burgundy.  
 
Chateau de Messey was initially constructed as a fortress in the 10th century, and their Chardonnay vineyards are located in the villages of Chardonnay and Cruzille, in the Macon Appellation. 
 
The wine team barrel fermented the 2016 vintage on the lees to give it more richness. It offers concentrated white and citrus fruits intertwined with minerals, white flowers, bright acidity, and a cleansing salinity on the finish. At $26, I wouldn’t miss it. 
 
CHATEAU DE MESSEY
BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY
2016 VIEILLES VIGNES 
 
Your Price: $26
 
 
 
“Pale yellow color with greenish yellow high- lights. The complex nose offers white flowers, grapefruit, peach and mineral aromas. The palate is straightforward, generous with fresh fruits and grapefruit hints. This Chardonnay shows a good intensity with a long length.”
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!” 
2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard

2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella’s Vineyard

MATIAS 

2016 CHARDONNAY
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD

2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella's VineyardHow much would you expect to pay for a Chardonnay from one of the top vineyards in California? Chardonnays from Rosella’s Vineyard average around $50 per bottle, and producers like ROAR, Saxon Brown, and Loring all make Chardonnays from it. Matias perfectly articulates the vineyard’s best qualities, and at $55, the quality is ridiculously high. Of course, few other California Chardonnays can compete.  

Rosella’s vineyard was planted by Gary Franscioni, who’s one of California’s most distinguished growers, having also partnered in iconic sites like Pisoni, Garys’, Sierra Mar and Soberanes. Rosella’s vineyard sits on the Santa Lucia Mountain Range benchlands, and they chose it for its healthy maritime influenced climate and Arroyo Seco sandy loam soils. 
 
Dan Fitzgerald, who got his start working at Williams-Selyem authored this stunning California Chardonnay. The style is unabashedly Californian with super-rich, opulent flavors that span buttered pineapple, candied ginger, lemon meringue, and bright acidity.
 
MATIAS 
2016 CHARDONNAY
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD
Retails at: $55
 
 
 
 
 
“The 2016 Matias Rosella’s Chardonnay offers vivid aromas of green apples, sweet passionfruit, dried flowers and liquid minerals. The palate is full, rich and sultry with flavors of candied pineapple, exotic tropical fruits, key lime pie, butterscotch and sweet vanilla, without being heavy or flabby. These flavors and aromas combine to lead to a very long, balanced, mouth quenching finish.” 94 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
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!”
2017 Maldonado Chardonnay Los Olivos Vineyard

2017 Maldonado Chardonnay Los Olivos Vineyard

MALDONADO 

2017 CHARDONNAY
LOS OLIVOS VINEYARD

2017 Maldonado Chardonnay Los Olivos VineyardMaldonado Chardonnay is the delicious result of nearly four decades spent immersed in Napa Valley agriculture, including managing iconic vineyards like Newton Cellars. The results speak volumes, and fruit from their remarkable vineyard has attracted top producers like Venge and B Cellars to craft Chardonnay from it. The Maldonado’s passion for the grape is transparent in their flagship Los Olivos bottling, which is made in a richly layered style with beautiful weight, balance, and gloriously defined fruit. 

The Los Olivos Vineyard is near the Southeastern edge of Napa Valley, in a cool, windswept region that experiences strong maritime influences from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay. These influences funnel through the Coastal Mountain ranges, and allow the grapes a long growing-season, with temperatures cool enough to maintain acidity and structure. 
 
Maldonado perfectly balances nectar-like texture with balanced acidity and detailed candied lemon, tropical fruits, and vanilla bean. The wine team barrel ferments the grapes, and then the wine is aged sur lie, which contributes to this wine’s incredible richness and buttery aromas. 
 
MALDONADO 
2017 CHARDONNAY
LOS OLIVOS VINEYARD
Retails at: $42
 
Your Price: $39.99
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“Inviting aromas of maple, Meyer lemon curd and ripe nectarine. Bright and clean with spiced maple, green apple, citrus, wet slate and subtle hint of oak. A classic style Chardonnay, yet re-imagined!”  
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
2018 Darms Lane Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

2018 Darms Lane Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

DARMS LANE

2018 CHARDONNAY
OAK KNOLL DISTRICT
2018 Darms Lane Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

 

Most Chardonnay fans have a preferred style of either rich, buttery and opulent, or clean, crisp and minerally. For my palate, the most important characteristic, regardless of style is balance, and Darms Lane’s 2018 Chardonnay has it from first sip to the last drop. When you read about the winemaker and the vineyard, the quality won’t come as a surprise, but one thing that will surprise you is the unbelievable value at this price.

Darms Lane’s winemaker Brian Mox is well-versed in crafting premium Napa Valley Chardonnay. He spent several vintages as winemaker at Lewis Cellars, and he’s the current winemaker at Laird Family Estate, and both wineries are recognized for exceptional Chardonnay. 

The 2018 combines fruit from the winery’s Bon Passe Estate Vineyard, as well as neighboring Trefethen. The area is know for its complex soils and micro-climate that’s one of the coolest in Napa Valley, enabling the fruit to develop concentrated flavors at ripe sugar levels with refreshing, balanced acidity. 

DARMS LANE
2018 CHARDONNAY
OAK KNOLL DISTRICT

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“Refreshing and vibrant, our 2018 Chardonnay offers aromas of pear, brioche, vanilla, honeysuckle, toasted oak, and hints of lemon curd. The beautifully balanced pallet exhibits flavors of pear, apple, vanilla, and fresh hints of Meyer lemon and tart orange as well as a touch of white peach. The wine has medium body with a subtle richness leading to crisper, clean citrus and stone fruits through the mid pallet and a lively fresh finish. Enjoy!”

2016 DuMOL Wester Reach Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2017 DuMOL Wester Reach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

DuMOL 

2017 PINOT NOIR
WESTER REACH
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

2016 DuMOL Wester Reach Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Best described as “dynamic, alive and precise,” which is how winemaker Andy Smith details DuMOL’s 2017 Wester Reach Pinot Noir. The complexity comes in part from the matrix of carefully chosen clones, which include Calera, Swan, and Pommard. We introduced the wine last year, and now that it’s got a 96 point score, if you missed it the first time around, here’s a second chance.
 
The 2017 Wester Reach Pinot Noir perfectly balances an equilibrium of fruit from four iconic Russian River Valley Vineyards, including the winery’s O’Connell Estate, Dutton UPP Road, Widdoes and Occidental Road. 
 
The 2017 vintage is from one of the lowest-yielding harvests in twenty years, with small berries and clusters, which resulted in incredible detail and focused flavors. The wine was barrel fermented and spent just 12 months in oak to preserve the purity of the fruit.    
 
DuMOL 
2017 PINOT NOIR
WESTER REACH
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
 
Your Price: $69.99
 
“Made from four stellar sites within the appellation, this stunning wine shows rich red and blue fruit. Spice and forest floor tones intertwine alongside firm, supple tannins and balanced acidity, finishing with impressive length and intensity.” 96 Points
 
“The wine is dynamic, alive and precise. It begins in a coastal style–sleek, focused and linear. The deep entry expands along strong lines with good drive and detail to its red and black fruit flavors. As it fully opens, natural Russian River textures and volume takes hold – broad, supple and layered. Savory elements steer the wine toward complexity that will continue to build in bottle. Drink between 2019 and 2029.”
2017 Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

2015 Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

RED CAR

2015 CHARDONNAY
SONOMA COAST

2017 Red Car Sonoma Coast ChardonnayThe vineyard composition of Red Car’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is legendary, making the level of value inside the bottle remarkably transparent. A significant portion of the 2015 hails from Ritchie Vineyard, which has an epic history of producing some of California’s most distinguished Chardonnays. At $38, the wine is a serious value, but at this price, you might want to race to the order button. 

Red Car’s 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay features some of the coldest Chardonnay vineyards in California. It is based around a core of Ritchie fruit that’s made even more intriguing with fruit from Red Car Estate, Zephyr Farms, Manchester Ridge, and Hawk Hill Vineyards.

The 2015 was fermented almost exclusively in neutral oak barrels to preserve the natural clarity of the fruit. On the palate, the wine is detailed, fresh, and inviting, and offers brilliant clarity, balance, and delicate texture, and It’s an absolute joy to taste. 

RED CAR
2015 CHARDONNAY
SONOMA COAST
Retails at: $38

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“The 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers up notes of spiced apples and poached pears with touches of honey toast, cashews and ginger. Medium-bodied with a very yeasty/savory palate, it has a pleasantly creamy texture and oodles of freshness, finishing long…” 91 Points