Sips of Recently Tasted California Chardonnays
2012 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Cuvée Limitée Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay
14.1% alc., 149 cases, $65.
Exclusively estate vineyards. Produced from some of the oldest (over 20
Years) Dijon clones on the Estate. Hand-picked, hand-sorted and
pressed whole cluster. Fermented in French oak barrels ()one-third new, one-third once-used, and one-third neutral) After 11
months, the favorite barrels were selected.
Light golden yellow color in
the glass. Aromatically engaging with scents of lemon drop, dried
mango, golden apple and marzipan. Light on its feet, crisp and very
sleek, this wine is infused with citrus and apple goodness with very little
intrusion of oak. Refreshing, with some length on the bright finish.
Definitely French stylistically, with a purity of fruit that is striking. One of
the best Oregon Chardonnays I have experienced in recent memory.
2012 Durant Vineyards Raven Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., pH 3.67, 264
cases, $25. From vines planted in 1993 to clones 76 and 96. Crafted by Isabelle Dutarte of De Ponte Cellars.
Harvest Brix 24.5º. Yield 2 tons per acre.
Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of
apple, lemon, Asian pear, and nutty oak are offered in a bright, lighter-flavored style. Slightly soft on the palate
with tight acidity and a walnut and lemon infused finish.
2013 Meiomi California Chardonnay
13.8% alc., $19. 49% Santa Barbara County, 21% Monterey County,
and 30% Sonoma County.
Pale golden yellow color in the glass. A solid offering with aromas and flavors of
lemon, white peach, honey and nutty oak. Smooth on the palate, and easy to drink, with modest oak overlay,
and a refreshing finish of juicy Granny Smith apples.
2013 Rombauer Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay
14.6% alc., $32. Released August 2014. From
estate vineyards and select growers including the Sangiacomo family. Very large production.
Harvest Brix 22.9-25.0º. Whole cluster pressed, cold-settled overnight, racked to barrel for primary
and malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred every two weeks. Aged 8 months in 33% new
French and American oak barrels.
Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas and
flavors of lemon-lime, white nectarine, vanilla, spice and buttery brioche. Mildly creamy on the palate
with a subtle buttery oak compliment, and good acidity.
2012 Stomping Girl Hyde Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay
14.1% alc., $40. Wente and Robert Young clones. Gently whole
pressed with free-run juice sent to French oak barrels (one new,
the rest neutral) at a cool temperature. Aged sur lie with regular
lees stirring. The wine clear naturally, without fining or filtration,
and was bottled with a single racking before bottling.
golden yellow color in the glass. The aromas pull you into the
glass, with bright notes of lemon curd, pear, toast and subtle vanilla.
Delicious lemon, pear and apple flavors in a bright, crisp and clean style
with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Amazing fruit goodness. Beautifully
balanced with noticeable length on the finish. All you could ask for in a
Chardonnay. Drink this one on a sunny day with your best friends.
2012 TR Elliott Three Roses Russian River Valley Chardonnay
14.5% alc., 257 cases, $32.
Released May 2014. Sourced from Herrick Vineyard. Winemaker is Theodore R. Elliott. Clone 809.
Aged sur lee 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels.
Moderately light golden yellow color and
clear in the glass. The nose is multidimensional with aromas of lemon curd, buttery brioche, melon,
and exotic floral display. Slightly creamy on the palate with flavorful notes of lemon, apple,
pineapple and lemongrass. Crisp and juicy, with a deft touch of oak and appealing length on the