2011 Forman Napa Valley Chardonnay (Previously $43)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Formanís 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 Valleyís 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.
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
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.