2012 Arnot-Roberts "Watson Ranch" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1143188 94 points Vinous

 The 2012 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is drop-dead gorgeous. Almond, yellow stone fruits, flowers and sweet spices meld together in a Chardonnay endowed with incredible class and pure elegance. Subtle and understated, the 2012 impresses for its balance and total sense of harmony. The openness of the year comes through beautifully on the finish. This is easily one of the most striking 2012 Chardonnays I tasted.  (2/2014)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright yellow. Vibrant aromas of pear skin, iodine, agave and salty minerals, with a subtle floral note in the background. Tight and stony on the palate, offering vibrant citrus fruit and quince flavors that show a refreshing bitterness. Finishes dry, linear and long, with resonating mineral and orchard fruit notes and excellent clarity. There's zero fat here.  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Roberts were named "Winemakers of the Year" for 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle. This Chardonnay comes from Watson Ranch, one of the southernmost vineyards in the Napa Valley, situated on a hillside south of Carneros. The vines were planted in 1990 in dry-farmed soils comprised of clay over limestone. The wine was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless using native yeasts and aged in neutral oak. The small production, just 13 barrels, allowed for plenty of care, though little manipulation, in the cellar. A pure, polished, balanced, terroir-driven Chardonnay with distinctive minerality and fresh citrusy fruit. Bravo.

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Price: $39.99
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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.


- 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.
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 (%): 13.2