2011 Abeja Winery Chardonnay

SKU #1116526 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* Another classic vintage of Abeja Chardonnay, this is a memorable style that’s built around yummy barrel flavors of toast and caramel, with notes of stone fruits. The three vineyard sources--Celilo, Conner Lee, and French Cree--form a perfect crescent across the state and capture the essence of three quite different AVAs. It has lovely texture and length, with impeccable balance throughout.  (11/ 2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright yellow. Lovely lift to the aromas of peach, nectarine and sexy vanillin oak. Tactile and vibrant, with complex flavors of stone fruits, quince and spices nicely complemented by the wine's oak element. Generous and broad but with no excess weight. Finishes dry, subtle and long, with lingering spice character. An excellent showing.  (12/ 2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Sleek, silky, creamy and refined, especially appealing for the nectarine and tangerine flavors that dance smoothly through the long and inviting finish. Drink now through 2016.  (11/ 2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Coming largely from the renowned Celilo Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge, supplemented by fruit from Conner Lee and their Mill Creek estate, the Abeja 2011 Chardonnay leads with scents of honeysuckle, pear, and Persian melon, which translate into a luscious, buoyant performance possessed of considerable inner-mouth perfume. Hints of vanilla and coconut from oak toast segue rather nicely into the creaminess of a wine that is allowed to undergo malolactic transformation until it reaches the point where Abbott feels richness of texture and vivacious juiciness are in balance. The finish is soothing and retains a welcome modicum of refreshment. I suspect this wine will be best enjoyed over the next couple of years.  (12/ 2012)

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Price: $37.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.