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Reviews – Chardonnay

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

    92 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay offers a great intensity of fresh, pure apple and white peach aromas with hints of baker’s yeast and allspice plus a waft of honeysuckle. Medium to full-bodied and delivering mouth-filling stone fruit and spice flavors, it has a satiny texture and great length. Totally over-delivers at this price point! 18,227 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “This desirable appellation wine hails from several well-farmed vineyards, including the producer’s hillside Wildcat Mountain site in the Petaluma Gap. Apple blossom aromas lead to a taut body of ripe, balanced fruit—an exploration of pineapple and mango that’s food-friendly, with high-toned acidity.” —Virginie Boone, December 2017

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    My personal go-to white at my local supermarket, the 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is real Chardonnay class at a bargain price. It opens with notes of grapefruit, peaches and cream and honeyed toast with a touch of pineapple. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is purely fruited with a lovely suggestion of creaminess plus great intensity and length. With nearly 22,000 cases produced, I’m happy to report there should be loads of this to go around! —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, March 1, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    This wine would surely win over even the anti-Chardonnay folks. Its savory dryness is balanced by fresh fruitiness, especially apple and citrusy elements, while the oak presence is more like a dash of spice than a heavy layer of flavor. The sublime duality of richness and delicacy, plus the wine’s palate embracing texture, is what truly sets MacRostie Chardonnay apart from the competition. – Marquerite Thomas, April 19, 2016

    90 Points, Wine Spectator
    “Presents a delicious core of vibrant grapefruit and lemon-laced tangerine and white peach notes. Those who value zesty acidity will love this, as the acidity keeps the flavors fresh and jumping. Drink now. 25,000 cases made.” – James Laube, January 2016

    90 Points, The Tasting Panel
    Fresh and smooth with ripe fruit and creamy texture; rich and balanced with a firm core of acidity; mellow and long. —Anthony Dias Blue, Feb. 1, 2016

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Golden-honey and pear flavors combine effortlessly in this lovely wine from the famous vineyard, which neighbors this producer along the appellation’s Westside Road. Moderate acidity freshens a bold full-bodied approach defined by its backbone of smooth integrated oak.” —Virginie Boone, November 2017

    90 Points, Wine Spectator
    Pleasantly subtle without sacrificing density and complexity, this offers zesty citrus, green apple, melon and light oak notes. Drink now through 2020. — James Laube, June 15, 2017

    91 Points, Wine Advocate
    The 2015 Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard is intensely scented of pineapple and guava with underlying butterscotch, brioche and toasted almond notes. It fills the medium-bodied palate with tropical fruit flavors, supported by racy acidity and finishing creamy, with great persistence. — Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 28, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

    91 points, Wine Spectator
    “ Effusively fruity, with tangerine, nectarine, green pineapple and mango flavors. Offers a light touch of spicy oak and a long, mouthwatering aftertaste. Drink now through 2020.” —Jim Laube, June 2018

    90+ Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2016 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard opens with cedar-laced ripe apples and poached pears notes with hints of peach blossoms and toasted almonds. It fills the medium to full-bodied mouth with spiced apple flavors and features a refreshing line and toasty finish. 234 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

    93 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Shy in its voluptuousness at first, this wine is taut in lemon and hazelnut goodness, with soft subtle oak in support of the fruit. A persistent streak of grapefruit intensity adds further freshness and vibrancy to the core of overall complexity and smooth, rounded richness.” — Virginie Boone, May 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

    93 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Salty oak and brine mark the opening of this full-bodied white, which offers a sinewy texture of lingering Asian spice. Lemon meringue and apple contribute fruit-forward flavor around an herbal note and plenty of toasted oak.” — Virginie Boone, May 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Light in color and nuanced in oak, this full-bodied beauty doesn’t hold back on richness, allowing plenty of room for an expanse of salted caramel, pineapple and preserved lemon. Layered and robust throughout the midpalate, it lightens up on the intensity through a crisp finish.” —Virginie Boone, November 2016

    93 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Score another fine Chardonnay from Steve MacRostie and winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen. Pear, peach, melon, apple and a touch of vanilla spice ride lively acidity that balances the malolactic texture nicely, keeping the wine fresh and inviting well into the glass. Beautifully stylized!” –Rich Cook, July 12, 2016

    90 Points, PinotFile
    “Sourced from three blocks that are foggy with Goldridge soils. Braughton on Vine Hill Road, Hansen Hill at Dutton Ranch in Graton, and Jewell Ranch also located in Graton. Whole cluster pressed, racked into French oak barrels for primary and malolactic fermentation, and aged 10 months on lees with occasional stirring. 35% of barrels were new. Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lemon pie, peach, brioche, and kelp lead to predominantly salted apple, pear, pineapple and spice flavors in a sleekly styled wine with bright acidity.” —Rusty Gaffney MD, June 18, 2016

  • CHARDONNAY

    2013 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay

    94 Points, Wine Review Online
    “MacRostie chardonnays have always been among California’s finest. That’s a given. But when you combine the MacRostie skill with this grape variety and one of California’s legendary grape growers, it stands to reason the result will be magic in the glass. The 2013 MacRostie Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is an outcome that was oh-so-predictable. This vintage exhibits an oily texture with notes of lemon curd and pear, notes of baking spice and lively acidity to take the edge off the richness. Beautifully done.” —Robert Whitley, December 15, 2015

    92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “This is a hearty wine from a famous place, farmed by esteemed, long-time growers. Apple and pear skin show up first, with a baked quality to the fruit that never gets jammy. The wine stays light and bright despite its full-bod ied nature. Toasty lemon and fig compote finishes things off.” —Virginie Boone, May 2016

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    “I like the MacRostie style in Chardonnay. It’s not over-oaked or overripe, so the tropical fruit aromas and flavors can speak clearly. Racy, cool climate acidity drives the dry mango and passion fruit flavors forward, and the oak spice and citrus are nicely placed in the background. A long, lip-smacking finish requires a second sip. And a third. Grilled halibut seems like a natural with this one.” —Rich Cook, December 22, 2015

    91 Points, PinotFile
    “Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. A nose with intent, offering scents of lemon oil, white peach, vanilla pod, crème brûlée and a fleeting floral note. Beautifully balanced with juicy flavors of lemon-lime and honey augmented with a deft touch of toasty oak. Highly enjoyable, with a pleasing cut of lemon-driven acidity on the uplifting finish.” —Rusty Gaffney, January 17, 2016

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2013 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch, which comes from this iconic site in the heart of the Russian River, shows loads of lemon butter, tangerine oil, quince, a light-straw color with a greenish hue, medium to full body, great acidity and judicious and discrete use of toasty oak. This medium to full-bodied, pleasant Chardonnay should drink well for 3-4 years.”
    —Robert Parker, March 4, 2016

    92 Points, The Tasting Panel
    Bright and crisp with juicy fruit and good depth; silky, bright and balanced, long and fresh. —Anthony Dias Blue

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Kent Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

    93 Points, Wine Spectator
    “A juicy, citrus-driven effort, with a core of green apple, lemon-lime, white peach and tangerine flavors, this has zesty acidity and a mouthwatering personality that makes it easy to reach for the second and third glass. Drink now through 2022.” —Jim Laube, June 2018

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2016 Chardonnay Kent Ritchie Vineyard gives up intense grapefruit, guava and green mango scents with suggestions of baking bread and beeswax. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a racy acid backbone lifting the tropical flavors to a nice, long finish. 261 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Kent Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

    95 Points, Pinot File
    “Kent Ritchie has farmed his iconic vineyard for nearly 40 years. Wente selection from original 40-year-old plantings and 15- to 20-year old vines. Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged on the lees with occasional stirring for 15 months. 15% new French oak. Light golden yellow color in the glass. Soaring aromas of lemon, pineapple, pear, creme brûlée and a hint of slate. Lovely flavors of pear, lemon, pineapple and melon that are both intense and lifted by vibrant acidity. Impeccably composed and balanced, with a slightly viscous mouth feel and a grand finish that really holds on. Goes down like mother’s milk. A special wine from a venerable vineyard and exceptional by any measure. Terrific price to boot.” — Robert Whitley, Jan. 20, 2018

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “This is creamy and lush in vanilla, marshmallow and a healthy helping of toasted oak, yet it evolves in the glass to show undeniable acidity and mineral-laden aspects of dried herb and crushed rock. The finish emphasizes its light-bodied approach.” — Virginie Boone, May 2018

    95 Points, Wine Review Online
    “I really love great Chardonnay, and I’m always surprised at the small percentage of it that rises to this level considering how much of it is out there. Thankfully, I run across wines like this one periodically, wines that demand attention and fly way above the mediocre ocean of its siblings. Gorgeous citrus, tart apple, pear and gentle oak spice ride bold acidity through a blossoming finish that says pay no mind to them – come with me. Brava!” —Rich Cook, April 10, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Kent Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    Linear layers of lemon chiffon and clove-spiked orange wrap around light oak and focused acidity. Medium bodied and smoothly textured, it offers a kiss of caramel on the finish. —Virginie Boone, Feb. 1, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Goldrock Ridge Chardonnay

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “This is from an extreme coastal site high above the town of Annapolis, a study in ocean-driven minerality and lift. A small production, it offers lengthy acidity and moderately toasty oak beneath a well of white peach, lemon and briny sea stone.” —Virginie Boone, June 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Mirabelle Vineyard Chardonnay

    91 Points, Wine Advocate
    The 2015 Chardonnay Mirabelle Vineyard opens with lemon drop, white peach and grapefruit notes with suggestions of crushed stones and toast. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers expressive citrus and stone fruit flavors with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and lively backbone, finishing long with some spices coming through. — Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 28, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

    90 Points, Wine Spectator
    “Smoky, toasty oak adds flavor and texture, joining zesty pear, melon, green apple and honeydew notes, ending with a tapered finish that brings all the elements together. Drink now.” —Jim Laube, June 2018

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “A muted nose of toasted oak and brioche leads to an expansive and fleshy midpalate of apple and peach in this moderately structured, medium-bodied and balanced wine. The finish is lingering and vibrantly bright in acidity.” —Virginie Boone, June, 2018

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley opens with lemon peel and grapefruit notes over nuances of crushed stones, lime leaves and lemongrass. Medium-bodied with a refreshing line of acid cutting through the intense citrus flavors, it finishes on a mineral note. 782 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

    93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    This wine is the sum of many spectacular sites—including Ritchie and Heintz Vineyards—some of the cooler climate spots for grapes in the Occidental. Together they sing a tasteful tune that’s salty and demure, with an elegant imprint of green apple, ocean breeze and stone. —Virginie Boone, November, 2017

    90 Points, Wine Spectator
    Offers clean aromas of fresh-cut flowers, with honeydew, light citrus, peach and tangerine notes holding their own, diminishing ever so slightly on the aftertaste. Drink now through 2020. 954 cases made. –JL, June 15, 2017

    94 Points, Wine Review Online
    “Steve MacRostie has long been among the most respected Chardonnay producers in California and I lay it at the feet of balance. The MacRostie Chardonnays typically exhibit outstanding balance between fruit and acid, with moderate levels of alcohol. This vintage offers notes of brioche, lemon oil and baking spices, with a luxurious body and a clean finish.” —Robert Whitley, Aug. 22, 2017

    4 Stars, The Press Democrat
    “A rich and creamy chardonnay with aromas of jasmine and flavors of lime, mineral and green apple. Bright acidity balances the lush texture. Lovely.” —Peg Melnik, Sept. 6, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Defined by its voluptuous body, this wine is also elegantly accented in salted honey and lemon peel, complex and savory on the palate. The finish is marked by ripe apple and juicy acidity.” —Virginie Boone, September 2016

    90 Points, Wine Review Online
    “This is a citrus driven Chardonnay that will work when you want something crisp like an aromatic white, but that has more palate weight and fullness. Lemon, lime and mandarin are all present, joined by a strong mineral streak and baked bread. It seems tailor made to the summer heat.” —Rich Cook, June 14, 2016

    90 Points, The Tasting Panel
    “Smooth and creamy with fresh fruit, tangy acidity and silky texture; bright, fresh and balanced.” —Anthony Dias Blue, May-June 2016

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay

    92 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide

    “Floral, this is a fresh, lengthy and acid-driven white, welcoming in its medium-bodied grasp of balance. Apple, Meyer lemon and nutmeg form a nice bond of flavor with just a hint of ginger.” —Virginie Boone, June, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay

    91 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Subdued in oak, this bright intriguing wine does a nice job showcasing tart tangy flavors of green olive and green apple, while still maintaining a freshness at its core. It is moderately structured and teased in a twist of lime.” —Virginie Boone, November 2017

    90 Points, Wine Advocate
    The 2015 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay has a chalky/minerally nose over a core of lemon curd, grapefruit peel and apricots plus a hint of spiced apples. It gives a plenty of savory/yeasty flavors in the medium-bodied mouth with refreshing acidity and a fair bit of layers on the finish. —Lisa Perrotti Brown, March 1, 2017

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay

    92 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “The producer’s original source of Chardonnay, Sangiacomo grapes have figured into this wine since 1987, this vintage of which is astounding in tropical, fleshy layers of elegance, flecks of freshly cut pear providing further succulence. Richly textured, it’s balanced while robust.” —Virginie Boone, October 2016

    95 Points, Wine Review Online
    “The Sangiacomo chardonnay has long been one of MacRostie’s most powerful statement wines, so the stunning 2014 is hardly a surprise. This beauty exhibits inviting notes of lemon oil and baking spice, with fresh acidity that lifts the fruit and cleanses the palate. Among the finest California chardonnays I have sampled this year.” —Robert Whitley, August 2, 2016

    93 Points, Wine Review Online
    “A Chardonnay for lovers of all things lemon. It’s all here–Meyer and Sorrento lemon, lemon crème, lemon zest, lemongrass and lemon blossom with a touch of oak and stone minerality, with a long integrated finish that is a MacRostie trademark. It’s no lemon!” –Rich Cook, July 12, 2016

    92 Points, PinotFile
    “28th vintage making wine from Sangiacomo. This wine is meant to be special, representing only 4% of the fruit that MacRostie gets from Sangiacomo Vineyard. Grapes came from four blocks of Sangiacomo Vineyard: Rich Kiser, Kiser A, Kiser B and a Petaluma Gap site called Roberts Road. Gently whole cluster pressed, racked to French oak barrels for fermentation where primary and malolactic fermentations were completed. The wine was aged on the lees with occasional stirring for 10 months. 12 barrels were chosen, 2 of which were new and the rest used for previous vintages. Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A ripe fruited wine of great appeal with aromas of fresh citrus, honeysuckle, barrel and buttered popcorn. Defined by lively acidity and lemon-driven flavor, with a slightly creamy texture, a hint of nutty oak, and some finishing length.” —Rusty Gaffney MD, June 18, 2016

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 The Key Chardonnay

    94+ Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2015 Chardonnay The Key is slightly closed at this youthful stage, giving glimpses at struck match, white grapefruit, lemon curd and honeyed white peach notes plus hints of orange blossoms and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied and offering a soft spoken, quiet intensity of stone fruit and citrus layers, it has a silken texture and long, mineral-laced finish. 75 cases were made.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Creamy thick, sultry and savory, this is a small-production wine made to impress and provide impact, which it does well. Baked apple pie dusted in cardamom is the lingering reward, buoyed in medium acidity and an armful of toasted oak.” — Virginie Boone, May 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2016 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay

    94 Points, Wine & Spirits
    Steve MacRostie planted this vineyard in 1998, at elevations rising to 700 feet in the Petaluma Gap. The soils are volcanic, the cool winds and fog accounting for the crunchy brightness of this wine’s flavors. It has the white-flower scent of fresh cream, that creaminess incorporated into the elegant texture. The ripe lime flavors last with the blue-sky clarity of the coast. —Joshua Greene, April 2018

    92 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2016 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay delivers notes of white peaches, ripe Golden Delicious apples and Bosc pears with hints of allspice, shaved almonds and chalk dust. The palate nails it with intense yet elegantly played apple and pear flavors, accented with plenty of toast and spice, and gives a long, refreshing finish. 1,595 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2015 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay

    92 Points, Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
    “Earthy and slightly sulfurous in big oak, this full-bodied wine manages to grasp handfuls of bright acidity that persists through a wall of powerfully ripe tropical flavor. Aromas and aspects of citrus and white flowers contribute additional freshness.” — Virginie Boone, May 2018

    93 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2015 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay has a very spicy nose of ginger, nutmeg and allspice over a core of ripe pineapple and honeydew melon plus a touch of brioche. Medium to full-bodied, it packs in the spicy, tropical fruit flavors with a creamy texture and fantastic length. 945 cases produced.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, April 27, 2018

  • CHARDONNAY

    2014 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay

    92 Points, The Tasting Panel
    “Toasty and lush nose; rich, dense and generous with elegant fruit flavors and crisp acid structure; long, deep and bright.” —Anthony Dias Blue, February, 2017

    91 Points, Wine Advocate
    “The 2014 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay gives notes of ripe apples and pears over hints of baking bread, crushed stones and allspice. The medium-bodied palate gives a good amount of elegant, understated savory and mineral flavors with a silken texture and refreshing finish.” —Lisa Perrotti-Brown, March 1, 2017

    90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
    “This wine has a voluptuous rich-oak character, complemented by ripe apple and full-bodied concentration. It celebrates a warm, generous vintage in its ability to offer plenty of fruit and acidity, delightfully balanced by a lime chaser.” —Virginie Boone, March 2017

    92 Points, Wine Review Online
    The Wildcat Mountain bottlings always please me – great acid, complex interplay of fruit and winemaking choices, rich texture and crisp finish are there every vintage. The 2014 emphasizes apple, citrus, honey and a spicy note. This is my kind of cocktail white, but it’s also a player at the table alongside creamy fish preps. Another winner! — Rich Cook, Dec. 6, 2016

    91 Points, Pinot File
    Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. A polished, refreshing wine with clean aromas of lemon, pineapple and brioche leading to flavors of lemon, vanilla and toasty, buttery oak. Easy to drink, with uplifting energy, generous fruit flavors and admirable balance. Score: 91. — Rusty Gaffney, Dec. 1, 2016