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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Vibrant, young, green apple fruit is the driving force of this sleek, nicely made opus with mildly toasty, lightly laid-on oak a constant, if comparatively quiet, companion. The wine is firmly framed and conveys a clear impression of substance and depth, and, while its hard-to-miss acidity may leave it a little taut and tight at the moment, there is no question but that it has very good places to go. Leave it untouched for a couple of years, and know that it will hold for a good many more." (1/2015)
94 points Antonio Galloni: "Beringer's 2013 Chardonnay Private Reserve emerges from Gamble Ranch in Oakville. Classy, polished and restrained, the 2013 is absolutely superb. Above all else, the 2013 is a wine of finesse. Hints of pastry, baked apple and spices are woven into the super-expressive, oily finish. This was my first tasting at Beringer following Laurie Hook's move into the role of Winemaker Emeritus. Mark Beringer, the great-great grandson of founder Jacob Beringer, is the newly arrived Chief Winemaker. These are all Laurie Hook's wines, though. Needless to say, it will ...Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Firm and intense, well-focused and vibrant, centered on spicy citrus, green apple and pear flavors, with hints of honeysuckle, white peach and flinty stone. Lingers on the finish, showing a pithy edge to the lemon and green stone fruit notes. Drink now through 2019. 38,900 cases made." (3/2015) K&L Notes: In 2013 the winery notes "an early harvest with beautiful, warm weather, that provided long, even ripening for our Chardonnay. The wine offers tropical aromas of citrus and melon layered with honeysuckle, perfume and toasted oak. A juicy entry transitions to a vibra... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A lightly textured wine that suggests lemon chiffon, this has plenty of body to make it feel rich on the palate, along with ample acidity to keep it refreshingly crisp. Apple and pear rise to the fore, maintaining the fruitiness from start to finish." (12/2015) K&L Notes: Chardonnay has been called the "Queen Bee" of white grapes. With roots in the prestigious soils of Burgundy, this singular varietal has gained renowned status the world over. Chardonnais is a cleverly named French-inspired Chardonnay from Napa Valley. The wine is made to be rich and full bodied, wi... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Newton’s 2012 Chardonnay Unfiltered exhibits lots of honeysuckle, tropical fruit and marmalade, good minerality and excellent acidity that buttresses and provides uplift to the full-bodied, lavish, extravagant nature of this Chardonnay. As this wine ages, it will undoubtedly take on more Burgundy, Bâtard-Montrachet-like characteristics, but it is hard to resist young (which I know from personal experience). Enjoy it over the next 6-10+ years. This cuvée has been one of California’s great classic Chardonnays for over two decades. It also has remarkable ag ...Read More »
Renowned for their classically styled Napa Cabernet, beloved for their quirky Grignolino, Heitz Cellar also makes Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and this Chardonnay. A great price for this respected Napa Valley label. Heitz Cellar's tasting notes: "Our 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay is nothing short of refreshing, an excellent expression of both the varietal and the great 2013 growing season. Aromas of crisp, ripe apple and Asian pear mingle in the glass, while an invigorating acidity plays across the tongue. This is a medium-bodied Chardonnay with a touch of F... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Tilts toward green apple, pear and citrus flavors, making this bright and refreshingly clean and pure. Drink now. 40,000 cases made." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Cakebread's popular Napa Valley Chardonnay blends the best qualities of grapes grown in the Carneros region on San Pablo Bay with those of warmer areas of the Napa Valley. Look for fresh apple, melon and pear, spicy oak, and rich fruit flavors balanced with mineral tones.
A big, toasty and rich Chard in the best Napa style. Winery's vintage note: "Our Napa Valley Chardonnay is made using fruit grown on elite vineyards in some of the coolest regions of Napa Valley. With lovely ripeness and definition, as well as fresh, lively acidity, this Chardonnay shows the exceptional quality of the 2013 vintage. Enticing fruit layers of Meyer lemon, apple, pineapple and nectarine rise from the glass, underscored by hints of nutmeg, butter, cinnamon and orange blossom. On the palate, zesty flavors of orange and Key lime are complemente... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This unoaked Chardonnay is so ripe and rich, you won’t miss the buttered-toast flavor of oak. It’s incredibly potent with limes, mangoes, oranges and pineapples, uplifted with brisk acidity. A weekend brunch of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon will be the perfect occasion." (12/2013) K&L Notes: From fruit sourced from Yountville, the 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay offers great value for the pedigree of the fruit. The winery's tasting notes: "Hoopla 2013 Chardonnay has a beautiful clear bright golden color. From the first pour, it explodes from the glass with tropical f... Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Longtime winemaker Ted Edwards has fashioned a beautiful 2013 Chardonnay, an 11,000-case, non-malolactic, 70% barrel-fermented cuvée from multiple sources throughout Napa. One-third new French oak was used. Notes of delicate pear, apple blossom and tropical fruits emerge from this classic Chardonnay. Medium to full-bodied with a greenish hue to its color, it exhibits impressive layers and minerality. Enjoy it over the next 4-5 years." (10/2014)90 points Wine Enthusiast: "From three vineyard sites, this wine benefits from the skill of its blender, who composed lemon and lime fruit cr ...Read More »
Trefethen's Chardonnay is entirely sourced from their Main Ranch estate vineyard in Napa Valley's Oak Knoll District. The perfect 2013 growing season started and finished early and avoided any heat spells that could compromise the fresh quality of this energetic Chardonnay. From the winery: "Fruit aromas of white peach and Fuji apple fill your nose along with brioche toast and a touch of spice. The palate zings with bright acidity, unveiling ripe apple and pear fruit, with lovely tropical and pineapple flavors. A classic Trefethen Chardonnay, a round and... Read More »
Sourced from the Garvey, Genny’s, Stagecoach, Hudson & Hyde Vineyards. Harvested August 28 - September 27, 2013 at 22.4 - 26.2 Brix. Elevage takes place in 30% new French oak 30& used oak, and 40% stainless steel with 50% malolactic fermentation. According to the winery: "Sourced from low-yielding vineyards in Napa Valley, our Chardonnay is characterized by crisp apple, ripe melon and citrus flavors gently balanced with toasty French oak. Our winemaker uses a malolactic fermentation in moderation to retain the wine’s bright acidity. More than a decade af... Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "The just-bottled 2013 Chardonnay is vibrant and fresh, with a little more cut than is typically the case, the result of a year in which acidities are higher. Lemon peel, white flowers and crushed rocks are wonderfully expressive in this finely-sculpted Chardonnay from Montelena. There is plenty to look forward to here." (12/2014)
Winemaker's notes: "Long, cool fermentation in a mixture of old and new barrels gives our Chardonnay layers of fruitiness and complexity that result in a wine that is very enjoyable when young or after several years of bottle age. This method of fermentation, in conjunction with whole cluster pressing and "sur lie" aging add layers of toastiness and creaminess to the wine. Together these components meld together harmoniously to create a balanced wine that is both lively and rich in aroma and flavor."
93 points Antonio Galloni: "White Rock's 2013 Chardonnay is bright and beautifully focused, with tons of lemon oil, white flowers and stony, mineral notes. Drink this vibrant, steely Chardonnay over the next handful of years. Readers who enjoy Chardonnays built on a Chablis-like model of precision will find plenty to admire in this striking wine from White Rock." (10/2015)
Wine Spectator: "Fresh, clean and pithy, with taut tangerine, nectarine and citrus blossom flavors, ending with subtle white fruit notes. (Web-2012)" K&L Notes: According to the winery: "'I believe this is going to be a great wine...it already is!' That's what winemaker Mike Chelini says about our 2010 Chardonnay vintage. As always, it is pale straw in color. Its aromas carry a distinctive minerality backed by green apple, Muscat and lemon zest. The mouth feel combines richness and acidity, and it's that balance of fruit and tartness that we always strive for. Apples, lemon and an ea... Read More »
From the winery: "This lush and elegant Chardonnay offers vivid aromas of white peach, lime, melon and vanilla bean, followed by undertones of praline, fresh pie dough and pistachio gelato. On the palate, flavors of Bosc pear, honeycrisp apple and Meyer lemon are underscored by beautifully balanced oak, which lends warm nuances and layers of complexity that carry through to the long, silky finish."
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Chardonnay Hope’s Cuvée, a selection of the best lots and barrels, is a stunning Chardonnay. There are 379 cases of this wine, which went through 44% malolactic and was aged in 56% new French oak. The wine shows plenty of orange blossom, honeysuckle, lemon custard and crushed rock notes. It is certainly very Burgundian and almost like a grand cru from the village of Puligny-Montrachet. Terrific stuff, with stunning texture and richness, this wine should drink well for another 5-7 years." (10/2015)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
88-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chardonnay reveals plenty of upfront buttery, caramelized fruit, medium to full body and a slight chunkiness in the finish. While very good, it is not at the level of the 2012 Savoir Faire. Drink now through 2020. (RP)" (10/2014) K&L Notes: Pressed whole-cluster and then fermented and aged in 90% new oak. The winery notes that the 2013 "opens with aromas of bright citrus zest, fleshy crane melon and notes of graham cracker. The unctuous mouth feel leads with an elegant restraint and swath of slate that crescendo with flavors of fresh cider apples, juicy ly... Read More »
From the winery: "The warm vintage resulted in a riper style—more expressive with a fuller, creamier mouthfeel. Ripe melon, tropical fruit, mango and baked apples all mingle amid the round, luscious texture. Dishes with full flavor are great partners to the Chardonnay. Chicken marinated with fresh lemon and rosemary then grilled, panko-crusted halibut or crostini topped with white bean puree are all excellent choices."
Jancis Robinson: "Expressive and ripe on the nose, with all the typical stuffing of Napa Chardonnay. Aromatically spiced oak giving clove and something a bit peppery. Plenty of alcoholic warmth. (RH)" (3/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The attractive 2012 Chardonnay reminded me of Chardonnays from the 1970s and early 1980s. The wine was aged in French oak for eight months, but you would never know that from the aromatics and flavors. With delicate, crisp citrus, this fresh, lively, Chablis-like effort reveals a hint of minerality. (RP)" (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "Pure and clean, this is marked by zesty citrus, green p ...Read More »
93 points Connoisseurs Guide: "Although showing a bit of youthful constraint right out of the gate, this substantial and nicely concentrated Chardonnay gains traction as it goes and, even if a touch firm and framed by good acidity, it opens and builds on the palate with deep, well-formed, fully ripe fruit, a good dose of creamy oak and a tantalizing touch of baked-bread sweetness. It is a big wine, to be sure, but it is not at all overblown, and it hits the accustomed Darioush mark for fruity amplitude and richness." (7/2015) K&L Notes: You may expect a big Chardonnay from Darioush, but this relea... Read More »
According to the winery: "The Watson Ranch vineyard is perched on a steep hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay in the southernmost end of the Napa Valley. The vineyard can be seen on the top of the hill just east of the Green Island Vineyard which we sourced fruit from 2007-09. Exposed and austere, the Watson Ranch is a wind whipped site planted in 1993 by the talented grower Salvador Ramos on marine deposits over limestone. This soil type is extremely rare on the North Coast and lends itself perfectly to growing world class Chardonnay. This soil coupl... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Creamy and well-integrated, this offers personality and style. The crisp bite of green apple and lemon curd are textured and long-lasting. With its overall balance, it is a fantastically versatile pairing option." K&L Notes: There are a lot of Chardonnays made in California these days. From the rich, oak driven, tropical style wines to the stainless steel interpretations. The Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley at $12.99 is a nice balance of both. Hints of oak and creaminess with a nice backbone of acidity. The apple and pear notes are well integrated with just a touch of c... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Candied lemon drop comes first to mind in terms of the wine’s bouquet, which settles into more subtle orange blossom. Sublime and layered in characteristic apple and pear, it shows tartness on the abbreviated finish." (8/2015)
Named to honor Michael Pozzan’s venerable grandmother, Annabella wines are hand sourced from select vineyards throughout the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Whether cabernet sauvignon, merlot or chardonnay, these wines are a toast to a spirited woman of remarkable grace. We remember her love of cooking for family and friends and we celebrate it to this day. Annabella wines represent a wonderful combination of quality and value. This Napa Chardonnay has a medium golden straw color and ripe aromas of fresh mango, passion fruit and kiwi fruit with only a touch of... Read More »
92 points Antonio Galloni: "Apricot pit, pear, mint, spice and a touch of earthiness are some of the notes that emerge from the 2012 Chardonnay. Sweet floral notes develop in the glass, adding aromatic lift. The 2012 can be enjoyed today, but as Mayacamas fans know, these wines have a way of aging gracefully for many years. (Antonio Galloni)" (12/2014)
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Vibrant, young, green apple fruit is the driving force of this sleek, nicely made opus with mildly toasty, lightly laid-on oak a constant, if comparatively quiet, companion. The wine is firmly framed and conveys a clear impression of substance and depth, and, while its hard-to-miss acidity may leave it a little taut and tight at the moment, there is no question but that it has very good places to go." (1/2015)
The Annabella range from owner/winemaker Michael Pozzan is named in honor of his grandmother. The wines are made from select vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties each vintage. Their Chardonnay is barrel-aged in French oak and undergoes partial malolactic fermentation to create a full-flavored, medium-bodied version of Chardonnay, with ripe pear and apple fruit, hints of melon and creme brulee accents.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2002 Chardonnay reveals evolution in its orange liqueur, lemon oil, honeyed grapefruit, roasted hazelnut, and leesy personality. With terrific delineation, intensity, and full body, noble purity, and an amazing texture, it represents California’s version of a Batard-Montrachet. These wines tend to age beautifully for 6-7 years, perhaps even longer ... I just never have any bottles left after that period of time. (RP)" (2/2005)94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Wild, gamey aromas of dried fruits, honey, smoke, truffle and nuts. Less fruit-driven and more minerally in the mouth than the ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Chardonnay Reserve increases the amount of oak (100% barrel-fermentation and 15 months in new French oak), resulting in copious notes of vanillin and spice box intermixed with pineapple, pear and white currant characteristics. (RP)" (10/2014)
From the winery: "Unusually warm, dry conditions followed by excellent weather throughout harvest yielded an opulent and classically rendered Reserve Chardonnay in 2013. Ripe and sweetly fragrant Bosc pear, batard and caramel aromas are threaded with toasty oak, hazelnut and gunmetal. This provocative array enveloped in tantric satiny texture, lingers on the palate with Burgundian lees character before finally tailing off to a toasty finish." Only 550 cases of this exceptional Chardonnay were produced.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Although famous for their Cabs, Heitz Cellar has been making Chardonnay since their founding in 1961. Fruit is sourced from across the Napa Valley, and the resulting wine is layered with an emphasis on mineral and fruit. French oak is employed in vinification, but the wine is not marked by new wood or high alcohol. From the winery: "All of the best elements of the varietal are seamlessly aligned in our 2014 Napa Valley Chardonnay. This rich, complex Chardonnay is surprisingly bright and elegant on the palate. Lush aromatics open effortlessly into flavors... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A firm minerality, like the tang of cold steel, derives from Spring Mountain’s soil. That metallic note adds an interesting dimension to the wine’s fruitier flavors of apricots, mangoes and peaches. The winemaker added some Oak Knoll fruit, which contributes citrus acidity for balance." (4/2014) K&L Notes: Keenan's 2012 Chardonnay was hand-harvested and the gently pressed juice fermented in a combination of French and American oak barrels. The wine continued to age in-barrel with weekly lees stirring, but no malolactic fermentation was carried out in order to retain ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Medium in weight and body, this is a delightful, straightforward wine with highlights of apple, pear and fennel. A weightier backbone builds momentum toward the finish; expect a satisfying twist of caramel and vanilla as it ends." (10/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: "The Raymond Reserve Selection Napa Valley Chardonnay opens with alluring aromas of orange blossom and honeysuckle. Full-bodied with excellent balance, the wine displays flavors of pear, apple and lemon before ending with a long, rich finish."
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard reveals more stony minerality than the 2012. Crisp honeysuckle, tangerine and caramelized citrus notes intermixed with a hint of apple skins are found in this elegant, medium to full-bodied 2013 along with zesty acids and super purity. Drink now-2018." (10/2014)
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Barrel fermented without having gone through malolactic conversion, this is a firm, completely savory Chardonnay, gaining its viscosity from the richness of alcohol. The oak feels integrated, driving star-fruit flavors toward earthier tones of bitter almond. A full-bodied white for a veal chop." (4/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Good minerality, crisp red currants and citrus emerge from this fresh, lively, medium-bodied 2013 Chardonnay. (RP)" (10/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "Soft layers of faint lemon, fig and yellow apple stand out in this pretty, straightforward and slightly tart white, the whole of the ...Read More »
From the Winery; Our Napa Valley Chardonnay combines the enticing characteristics of three highly renowned sub-appellations within Napa Valley: Oakville, Carneros, and St. Helena. Blending fruit from the warmer appellations on the valley floor and the cool, rolling hills of Carneros allows us to craft a Chardonnay with great intensity and restraint. This bottling balances shimmering bright acidity with the full-bodied, concentrated fruit flavors found in grapes sourced from our sustainably farmed vineyards. Aged 8 months in 15% oak barrels, 22% oak ovals... Read More »
A rich, classic Napa Valley Chardonnay at a great value! From Craig Handly, Winemaker: "The 2012 Harvest was very abundant in the Napa Valley growing region. It was a ten out of ten for both fruit quality and volume. “One in Twenty” the old timers called it and the fruit expresses it. The 2012 Sentall fruit was grown by Tom Carpenter in the Carpenter Vineyards in St. Helena. What I strive for in this wine is to have it express personality with a fruit and oak balance. Sentall is thus a stand alone as well as a food Chardonnay. Crisp lemon, melon and gree... Read More »
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid yellow. Aromas of poached pear, honey, toasted grain and lemon curd. Fleshy and broad but dry on the palate, offering bitter orchard fruit and citrus pith flavors and a hint of tarragon. Clings nicely on the finish, which repeats the citrus pith note and shows a hint of warmth." (5/2014) K&L Notes: "Textbook" delivers exactly what the name cleverly implies: a textbook, solidly built Napa Chardonnay that's meant for enjoying with your favorite cuisine. Don't erroneously conclude from the smart name, the nice price and convenient, screw cap enclosure this is a... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Connoisseurs Guide: "The Chardonnays of Grgich Hills are rarely, if ever, wines that trade on high ripeness and richness, but this very lean, nearly wiry young wine flirts with suggestions of greenness and proves to be very tight-fisted at this point. While we like its freshness and its hard-to-miss vibrancy, we would be happier if it were a little more outgoing in fruit, but given the winery's track record for slow-to-unfold, long-aging white wines, we are willing to set this one aside for several years." (5/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium yellow. Aromas of mango, stone and soft citrus f ...Read More »
2006 Kongsgaard "The Judge" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Bid on this 2-bottle lot of 2006 Kongsgaard "The Judge" Napa Valley Chardonnay (96AG, 93RP, 93ST). Antonio Galloni: "The 2006 Chardonnay The Judge is the first wine in this tasting that approaches full maturity. Honey, hazelnuts, dried flowers, sage, orange peel and spices meld together in the glass. (AG)" (11/2013)
This lot contains the following items:
2006 Kongsgaard "The Judge" Napa Valley Chardonnay (qty: 2)
End Date: Nov 26 2015 7:30PM PT
Wine Enthusiast: "A Chardonnay that did not go through malolactic fermentation and was aged in 20% new French oak, this is bristling in acidity and crispness, with a suggestion of lemon and vanilla wafer on the palate. The finish remains crisp though abbreviated." (11/2014)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2000 Chardonnay is evolving quickly for an offering from this estate. While a top vintage can easily hold up to a decade of cellaring, the 2000 is best consumed over the next two years. Full-bodied, with a striking minerality in addition to a concoction of orange citrus oil flavors, this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay possesses crisp acidity, a hint of roasted nuts, and a long finish." (12/2003)93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(bottled in August of 2002) Attractive pale yellow color. Sappy, pure, highly aromatic fruit aromas of orange peel, peach and lemon cream, complicated by not ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse