2013 Stonestreet "Upper Barn Vineyard" Alexander Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1303155 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Upper Barn, a vineyard that Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer made famous, spends 11 months in 49% new French oak and is fermented with indigenous yeasts. This is all Old Wente clone material, planted in 1982, so it’s among the older Chardonnay vineyards in Northern California. This wine always seems to have great acidity and loads of orange blossom, marmalade, honeysuckle and lemon blossom characteristics. The 2013 Upper Barn Vineyard (963 cases) is a beauty and certainly one of my favorites of this group. Stonestreet continues to build wines that show less emphasis on toasty new oak and more emphasis on vineyard site, fruit quality, and overall harmony and elegance. They make two Sauvignon Blancs, seven Chardonnays and five Cabernet Sauvignons, all from the Alexander Valley high-elevation hillside vineyards of the Jackson family. (RP)  (10/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Lemon peel, white pepper, flowers and mint are all found in the 2013 Chardonnay Upper Barn. Next to the other wines in the range, the Upper Barn comes across as a bit compact, but it is quite pretty and expressive just the same. The Upper Barn emerges from one of the higher blocks on the property. Stonestreet is one of the crown jewels in the vast Jackson Family Estates empire. Winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs is now running the show at Stonestreet's Alexander Mountain Estate. There are plenty of highlights among these new releases. The 2013 Chardonnays are essays into the different blocks and clonal selections that are planted throughoutthe property. Although the wines are strong, I am not sure the seven bottlings are meaningfully different from each other. The 2012 reds are all impressive. In this vintage the forward, fruit-driven personality of the year dominates, while some of the more typical savory/mineral signatures take a back seat. Frankly, it is a shame these wines are not better known. (AG)  (1/2015)

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Price: $74.99
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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:

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:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5