2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1226015

After working as the vineyard manager for Newton Vineyards for over 30 years, Lupe Maldonado bought a 10-acre piece of land in the cool southern tip of Napa (in Jamieson Canyon), and planted vineyards in the dark, gravelly clay soil. He brought in Jean Hoefliger from Newton as his consulting winemaker. Winemaker notes: "Clean and light with aromatics of white nectarine, citrus and orange blossoms... Fermented in stainless steel (67%) French oak (33%)."

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Price: $17.99

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Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/26/2017 | Send Email
This is a very easy to like Chardonnay. The nose is fresh and inviting. In the mouth it is juicy with nice bright California fruit but it is not over ripe and there are no oak flavors. The Farm Worker Chardonnay is clean and delicious and will go well with chicken or fish.

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/29/2017 | Send Email
Fans of the richer, more oak-driven styles of California Chardonnay will enjoy this example from Maldonado quite nicely. Aromas of pineapple upside down cake, apple pie, green fig, and lemon zest play with oak driven characteristics of cedar and burnt sugar. Round texture on the palate, but pleasantly fresh and lively additionally. Poached pear, white nectarine, and yellow apple flavors are complimented by vanilla and baking spices. A fantastic price point as well; rare to see a Napa Valley Chardonnay for under $18

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/30/2017 | Send Email
If it’s true that the best wines are made in the vineyard, this 2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay couldn’t hope for a better pedigree. Lupe Maldonado has over three decades of vineyard management experience under his belt, and it shows. Fermented partially in stainless steel and partially in French oak, this is a crisp, focused effort that nevertheless offers plenty of ripe, sweet fruit.

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/25/2017 | Send Email
The Maldonado Farm Worker Chardonnay is a focused and crisp expression of the varietal, fermented in steel, with the intensity of Napa Valley fruit. With no oak to get in the way of this beautiful fruit, the wine is light, mineral-driven and with refreshing acidity. Farm Worker is a perfect Chardonnay for those who are looking for an easy-drinking wine for light appetizers, or an extended brunch on a lazy summer day.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/31/2016 | Send Email
This is the "quintessential California" profile that so many Chardonnay drinkers prefer, but at under $18 and in a truly well-made style! It has the "buttery" profile, but with nice acidity to keep it from crossing into the "too heavy" territory; oak integration that doesn't overwhelm, and the classic tropical fruit notes that shine, all working in a well-balanced harmony. A true crowd-pleaser for your next cocktail hour event!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Kelsey McNellis | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/30/2016 | Send Email
Farm worker is ideal for Rombauer drinkers on a budget. It has the bold, buttery notes of Rombauer mixed with juicy Napa fruit. Great price point for a Napa Valley Chardonnay- don't miss out!

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/24/2016 | Send Email
This is the wine Rombauer doesn't want you to know about!!! Rich, lush with elegant Napa fruit, a soft acidic edge, and the perfect dose of oak to make it EXTREMELY easy drinking. If Napa Chardonnay is your jam, you can't miss this level of quality for the price.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/27/2015 | Send Email
This was surprisingly good Chardonnay from our friends at Maldonado Vineyards. Great richness, lively and energetic. With great richness and follow through, this would be a close match to Rombauer or a Frank Family-styled CA Chardonnays. This is a very well-made wine for the price point. Enjoy!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/16/2015 | Send Email
This Napa Chardonnay is a lovely, solid offering meant to be an everyday drinker for the vineyard workers of Maldonado Winery. Lupe Maldonado came from Mexico and worked for Sterling Vineyards before going to work for Peter Newton, where he spend 30 years overseeing the vineyards for Newton. This wine is a celebration of his hard work and memories of long days. Juicy fruit and buttered toast are immediately present on the nose and create a wonderful weight on the palate. Hints of lemon, brioche, and kiwi are balanced by oak, allowing just the right amount of tannin on the finish. Overall, this was an exceptionally well-balanced wine, and at a fantastic price for a Napa Chardonnay.

Additional Information:



- 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 (%): 13.5