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2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay

SKU #1284544 91 points James Suckling

 This is really refined and fresh with sliced apple and lemon aromas. Hints of stone too. Medium to full body, an almost salty undertone. Medium finish. Bright and tangy. Gorgeous limey undertone.  (6/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 *** Best Buy *** This white is a study in unexpected complexity and pleasure. Quince, sulfur and grapefruit notes define it best, as supple minerality and gravelly texture provide dimensionality. (VB)  (5/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 #1 in "Best of 2016: Robert Parker, Top 3 Greatest Value Wines of the Year"...The 2014 Chardonnay Olema at $15.00 from Sonoma is a heck of a bottle of wine, with honeysuckle, lemon blossom and a touch of white peach all present in this wine that offers clean, pure fruit, medium body and a distant hint of wood. This is a terrific value and sleeper selection. (RP)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Olema is a brand that if you shop regularly with us here at K&L you probably already know. The baby sibling to the Amici label, Olema has impressed us just as much as Amici has over the last 10+ vintages. Now a completely separate entity, however owned and operated by the same teams, Olema has continuously raised the bar on making affordable Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from throughout Sonoma County. All 3 wines are $20 or under and are some of the best you can find at that price point. The 2014 Chardonnay takes advantage of the plentiful and ripe 2014 vintage and, we think, is the best vintage of the wine to date. Do not miss this exceptional value that Robert Parker himself rated the #1 wine in his "Top 3 Greatest Value Wines of the Year" in December 2016. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $14.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/20/2017 | Send Email
I gotta say I was impressed with this very flavorful Chardonnay. It has all the pretty notes I expect on a new-world wine, but none of the cloying, hyper-ripe fruit notes. Tropical? Yes. And it's all the better for it. Pineapple, peaches, and honeysuckle, and citrus, along with the cloves/cinnamon notes that make it just irresistible.

Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/6/2017 | Send Email
This is a brilliant follow up to the wonderful 2013 vintage of this wine. Slightly riper than the 2014 but, retains the excellent Olema acidity and cleanliness. White stone fruits with just a hint of honey and apple. Citrus background with a little bit of chalkiness and (very light) background oak. Those of you who love balanced and fresh California chardonnay will rejoice with this hugely affordable effort from Olema winery.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
This is juicy and round with a fresh and mouth filling palate of peach, nectarine and lemon oil all in a rich but vibrant package. A touch of well integrated oak adds some toasty notes to the finish of crushed fruit. Another appealing and affordable bottle from our friends at Olema that is food friendly and easy to drink.

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
The 2014 Olema Chardonnay is something special like a comet that blasts through our atmosphere once every 75 years, or the ever elusive Quadruple Double. Something that is so rare that when you taste it you can’t help but be bowled over by its combination of incredible quality and sheer value. Packed full of butterscotch, quince paste and cantaloupe on the nose this also expresses unparalleled balance: richly hued but bright rather than heavy or hefty. The oak here is mostly up front and acts as a warm blanket that encapsulates the wealth of melon, baked pear, lime flesh, wet stone and custard. Long and surprisingly complex in the finish with subtle salted caramel over granite and lychee this is just simply a wine that is not made in California for this price point any longer. Lucky us in that we all get to benefit in being lucky enough to be around to be able to drink it in.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
Impressively dry and poised, defined by less is more flavors of dried pineapple, Asian pear and citrus blossom, followed by a subtle stony element, this bravura Chardonnay would sing an aria to a plateful of sizzling sand dabs or any grilled fish that finds itself in need of tasteful, delicious accompaniment. A case or two will get you through....
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
A nose of baked green apples with brown sugar, and toasted oak. The palate has generous fruit, and very level acids. Flavors jump onto the palate with green apples, oak, and a quite seductive mouth feel to finish things up. The quality for the price is what to look for in this daily domestic Chardonnay to enjoy.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
Delicious and a great value, what more can we ask for? A wonderful mid weight clean and bright Sonoma chard like this typically costs much more, but here we have it. Lovely notes of peach stone and white flowers with a moderated amount of wood and wonderful pleasing finish. Fantastic wine at any price!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
Iv'e always been tremendously impressed with the pound for pound value that Olema (and Amici Cellars) offers on a consistent basis. This year's offering is a luscious and heavy expression of Sonoma County Chardonnay. It's brimming with notes of candied pineapple, Meyer lemon, satusuma oranges, marzipan and baking spices. For fifteen bucks it doesn't get better than this.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2017 | Send Email
For the second year in a row I was really surprised by the quality of this wine and once again even more so at this price. The nose shows wonderful, complex apply aromatics that lead to a creamy and balanced palate feel. This wine has a real focus and brightness on the finish, excellent value. I'm not a real Chardonnay drinker but this wine seems to bridge the gap between the clumsy, over oaked varieties by having a creamy enough texture to satisfy an inveterate California Chardonnay drinker and those looking for more of a balance between, fruit, spice and texture.
Drink from 2017 to 2020

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:

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).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2