2014 Lutum "Durell Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #1277517 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Starting with the two Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast AVA, the 2014 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard is a flat out gorgeous beauty that has classic notes of cream corn, apple blossom and sautéed lemons. Rich, textured, impeccably balanced and long, it will drink well for a decade or more. This 2014 spent 12 months in 30% new French oak, and there are a little over 1,000 cases. A partnership between Bill Price (who owns a number of vineyards including Durell Vineyard, Trip Vineyard, DuPont Vineyard, One Sky Vineyard, Walala Vineyard and Gap’s Crown Vineyard) and Gavin Chanin, Lutum focuses on single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from a number of top sites in California. Chanin is a terrific winemaker (don't miss his wines releases under his own label, which are reviewed in this report) and these elegant, impressive wines lean towards the fresher, leaner end of the spectrum, without conceding too much in terms of texture and richness. These are highly recommended. (JD)  (8/2016)

94 points Vinous

 The 2014 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard captures all the phenolic intensity that is so typical of this renowned Sonoma site. A vertical, intense wine, the Durell is also the most structured and outright powerful Chardonnay Gavin Chanin makes. This is an impressive set of wines from Lutum and Gavin Chanin. As always Lutum sources fruit from a number of properties in Santa Barbara and Sonoma, which gives the range a good bit of breadth. Pinot Noir is the main player in this lineup. Broadly speaking, the Lutum Pinots are made in a bigger, richer style than the wines Chanin makes under his own brand. That is attributable to vinifications with fully destemmed fruit as well as a selection of sites and blocks that tend to naturally produce slightly bigger wines. (AG)  (6/2016)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Vintner Gavin Chanin draws from the oldest Chardonnay vines at Durell, planted in 2001 on light clay mixed with tufa and sand. This isn’t a wine for the oak-shy, but the fruit underneath is luxurious and intoxicating, melding a sunny peach flavor with something more evasive, like the scent of pollen-a meadow in bloom. It’s a regal Chardonnay for crab or lobster.  (10/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine smacks you in the face first thing, demanding attention, before settling into mouthwateringly succulent layers of Asian pear, graham cracker and Nilla wafer. An underbelly of oak supports the fruit, remaining subtle and providing structure. The acidity shines most on the finish, inviting further exploration. (VB)  (7/2016)

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Price: $49.99
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- 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.

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.


- 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).