2009 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Karia" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1091778 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There are 25,000 cases of the 2009 Chardonnay Karia. Part of this cuvee is put through malolactic and about one-third is aged in stainless steel and two-thirds in wood. This light straw-colored Chardonnay is a Napa Valley regional blend as opposed to an estate Chardonnay. It offers up aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle and lemon oil in its medium-bodied, crisp, fresh style. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years.  (12/2010)

Connoisseurs Guide

 SLWC's Chardonnays have often tilted to stiffness and acidity, and this one is, in fact, temperate in ripeness and a little leaner in style. It is not, however, unduly severe, and it comes without any coarsening angles and edges. It has a very good grasp on essential fruit, and its quiet, but confident, manner makes it a fairly versatile mealtime match.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

Additional comments from Robert Parker: "Dramatic improvements are clearly underway at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, which was sold to a consortium led by Tuscany's Piero Antinori in 2007. Antinori brought in well-known consultant Renzo Cotarella to improve the quality and, hopefully, get this winery back to the lofty heights it achieved in the seventies and early eighties. They seem to be well on their way, which is good news for consumers. This is a large estate of 104 acres, all situated as one giant block of vineyards in the southern part of the Stags Leap appellation." (12/10)

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Price: $17.99
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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, M√Ęcon, 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 (%): 13.6