Recent Sips of Chardonnay
2013 brick & mortar Napa Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., 260 cases, $38. Released March 1, 2015.
Sourced from Cougar Rock Vineyard. Harvest Brix 22.8º. Whole cluster pressed, native primary and
secondary fermentations in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Aged 10 months before a light fining and
Light golden yellow and clear in the glass. Lovely aromas of lemon curd, lime zest, Granny Smith
apple and buttery brioche. Very clean, crisp and juicy on the palate, with pleasing flavors of lemon, pear,
honey and caramel. Nicely composed, with a lip-smacking, acid-driven finish.
2013 Cellar 33 Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay
14.0% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.70, 120 cases,
$39. Wente clone 4 planted in 1996. Harvest Brix 23.2º. Aged 10 months in 100% neutral French oak barrels.
Light golden straw color and clear in the glass. Inviting aromatic profile with scents of preserved
lemon, baked pear, and marzipan. Crisp flavors of lemon, lime and green apple, with a touch of nutty oak.
Largely acid-driven with a tight vibrancy and a cleansing finish.
2012 Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Light golden yellow color and clear
in the glass. A marvelous wine with aromas of lemon curd, pear,
tropical fruits, walnut and crushed sea shells. Impressive
transparency with vibrant flavors of golden apple, pear, and
pineapple. Oak seasoning is very subtle. Slightly creamy, with
very good energy and cut. A complete wine deserving of
2012 Cornerstone Willamette Valley White Label Chardonnay
13.5% alc., 300 cases, $40, screwcap.
Sourced from Carabella Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains), and Gran Moraine and Willakia (Yamhill-Carlton).
Dijon clones 76 and 95. Barrel fermented in French oak for 15 months, and 100% malolactic fermentation.
Moderately light golden straw color in the glass. Aromas of white-fleshed fruits, mango and a hint of gardenia.
Bright, crisp and clean on the palate, with tasty flavors of lemon cake, pear, and apple backed by sound acidity.
A note of mineral-driven flint and salinity is evident. Very easy to like, with appealing roundness. An excellent
food wine. A good example of how far Oregon has come in producing world-class Chardonnay.
2012 Liquid Farm White Hill Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
988 cases, $40. 63% Bentrock, 16% Zotovich, 8% Rita’s Crown, 6%
Huber, 4% Clos Pepe, 3% Radian, and 1% Kessler-Haak vineyards. A
homage to Chablis-styled Old World Chardonnay.
golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of white peach,
apple, citrus peel, nut oils and smoky oak. Slightly creamy, with an array
of flavors including lemon pie, apple, pear, toffee and fleur-de-sel. Less
boisterous than many California Chardonnays, but very pleasing, with a
good riff of underlying acidity, and a satisfying lemon drop finish.
All Loring Wine Company Chardonnays are whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented in a 50/50 mix of
French and American oak barrels (30% new). 100% malolactic fermentation.
2013 Loring Wine Company Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
14.8% alc., pH 3.55, 225 cases, $24,
screwcap. Released September 2014.
Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Slight reduction
upon opening that dissipates. Aromas of baked apple, lemon oil, and tropical fruits. Discreet richness of flavor
with notes of lemon, pear, apple, brioche and spice. Mildly creamy with some spiced fruit persistence on the
2013 Loring Wine Company Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
14.9% alc., pH
3.59, 100 cases, $40, screwcap. Released February 2015.
Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the
glass. The nose is vibrant with aromas of lemon zest, apple and marzipan. Very refined with impressive
harmony, offering flavors of lemon, pear, spice and subtle nutty oak. Slightly creamy, with a bright, lemondriven
2013 Loring Wine Company Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay
14.7% alc., pH 3.42,
150 cases, $40, screwcap. Released September 2014.
Light golden yellow color and clear. Aromas and
flavors of lemon tart, white-fleshed fruit, and oak-driven brioche, baking spice, and toast. Creamy and slightly
lush, with a dry, thirst-quenching finish.
2013 Loring Wine Company Paramelee Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
14.8% alc., pH 3.91,
150 cases, $40, screwcap. Released February 2015.
Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass.
Shy but pleasant aromas of sea breeze, toast and citrus blossom. Somewhat richer in flavor with an array of
tastes including lemon custard, baked apple, nutmeg, toffee, toast and spice. Velvety with a dry, slick finish.
2013 Sante Arcangeli Family Wines Bald Mountain Vineyard Ben Lomond Mountain Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
13.2% alc., pH 3.28, 119 cases, $32. Grown at 1100’ elevation on a sandstone
bench. Harvest Brix 22.5º. Native fermentation, aged 9 months sur lie in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new,
40% 1-year-old, and 20% neutral.
Moderately light golden straw color and clear in the glass. The yellow
peach aromas are accented with notes of butter brickle, toasty oak and salinity. Good fullness on the palate
with fresh yellow apple, peach and creme brûlée flavors. Slightly creamy, with a riff of quenching acidity on the
clean, refreshing finish.
2013 Ser Coastview Vineyard Monterey County Chardonnay
65 cases, $28, screwcap. Vineyard is at 2300’ elevation in the Gabilan
Mountains of Monterey County. Granite and limestone soils.
golden yellow color and clear in the glass. A mineral-driven Chardonnay
with aromas of lime, fresh green apple, pear, sea breeze and nutty oak.
A bit austere upon opening, picking up considerable intensity and
interest over time in the glass, offering flavors of peach, pear, apple and
lime, framed by bracing steely acidity. A Chablis impostor!