2011 Forman Napa Valley Chardonnay (Previously $43)

SKU #1126845 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Forman’s 2011 Chardonnay is very pretty. Lemon, pastry, white flowers and spices come together nicely as this vivid wine shows off its considerable personality. The 2011 still needs time to fully harmonize in bottle. Today, it lacks some of the energy of the 2010, but nevertheless stands out for its textural purity and class. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025. Ric Forman is arguably Napa Valley’s first superstar winemaker. Although sometimes overlooked today, there is little question Forman has had a profound influence on a number of younger winemakers who still speak of him with great reverence. In 2012 Forman celebrated his 46th harvest. Today, Forman counts on the assistance of his son Toby, in running this small, family-owned jewel of an estate. As for the wines, they are superb, but, best of all, remain realistically priced for the consumer who wants to drink top-flight Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon without having to take out a second mortgage. The Chardonnay is made in the non-malo style Forman pioneered in the 1970s.  (12/ 2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (13.7% alcohol; 100% barrel-fermented, then aged in 10% new oak): Good bright yellow. Pretty aromas of apple, pear, wet stone and soft herbs, lifted by a citrus peel element. Clean, sharply delineated and penetrating but boasts a round texture in spite of its bracing acidity. Subtle grapefruit and pear flavors linger impressively on the perfumed, very subtle aftertaste. This chardonnay was picked around September 12, allowing it to capitalize on the cool growing season. Very polished wine but with the intensity for a slow evolution in bottle. 91(+?) points  (6/ 2013)

K&L Notes

Ric Forman is one of the living legends of California winemaking. With a history at Sterling, Newton, Duckhorn, Abreu and of course Forman Vineyards. There are few other winemakers who can claim such influence in the very formation of the wine industry in Napa.

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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:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9