The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
Jay Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 13782
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 5:18 pm
Location: Jersey City

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#51 Post by Jay Miller » August 3rd, 2018, 1:36 pm

Various vintages of Rhys
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

User avatar
D@vid Bu3ker
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 32215
Joined: February 14th, 2009, 8:06 am
Location: Connecticut

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#52 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 3rd, 2018, 1:53 pm

Robert Pavlovich wrote:Enfield
Had a '14 Enfield a few weeks ago that was very, very good.
David Bueker - Rieslingfan

User avatar
JonF
Posts: 205
Joined: February 22nd, 2016, 1:06 pm
Location: Jackson, NJ

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#53 Post by JonF » August 3rd, 2018, 2:49 pm

2013 Walter Hansel Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce. Unreal layers of flavor there.
Futej

User avatar
Frank Murray III
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7691
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: South OC

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#54 Post by Frank Murray III » August 3rd, 2018, 2:57 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:Not so much interested in that incredible bottle that you had back in 1978, (but you are certainly welcome to mention it if you should so desire) but rather wines that are out in the market now. And not particularly that one wow bottle, but a producer who consistently delivers what it is you are looking for in a California Chardonnay. Thanks.
So.....what is yours? You started an engaged topic here but we have no idea what your wine is.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Occidental Ridge SC
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

User avatar
D@vid Bu3ker
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 32215
Joined: February 14th, 2009, 8:06 am
Location: Connecticut

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#55 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 3rd, 2018, 3:06 pm

And you are surprised why? ;)
David Bueker - Rieslingfan

User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3277
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#56 Post by RyanC » August 3rd, 2018, 3:30 pm

K John Joseph wrote:So, um, anyone have a 2014 Kutch SCM they'd like to discuss parting with?
Next time you’re in Houston give me a shout.
C@ughey

User avatar
H Wallace Jr
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1873
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 7:19 pm
Location: Napa, CA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#57 Post by H Wallace Jr » August 3rd, 2018, 4:28 pm

'15 Enfield Haynes Vineyard Chardonnay
FML.... so so good
Hardy Wallace itb
Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery: Mourvèdre and Semillon Together at Last

Joe V
Posts: 17
Joined: December 3rd, 2015, 4:44 pm
Location: Los Altos, California

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#58 Post by Joe V » August 3rd, 2018, 4:48 pm

2013 Ridge Chardonnay Estate

-J
J. V a $ i l i o u

User avatar
lleichtman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1352
Joined: June 28th, 2014, 6:28 pm
Location: Santa Fe NM

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#59 Post by lleichtman » August 3rd, 2018, 4:53 pm

Ceritas for me. I like the Trout gulch but all of the vineyards are good with me. 2015 was outstanding.
Lawrence G. Leichtman

User avatar
Steve L Gellman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1297
Joined: February 12th, 2009, 11:18 am

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#60 Post by Steve L Gellman » August 3rd, 2018, 5:09 pm

Marcassin
Aubert
Judge
Ferren

In no particular order

User avatar
Ed Steinway
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1486
Joined: March 14th, 2010, 4:40 pm

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#61 Post by Ed Steinway » August 3rd, 2018, 5:15 pm

Either a 2005 Mount Eden Estate or a 2004 Ridge Monte Bello. Both were outstanding.

Thanks,
Ed

User avatar
T Fletcher
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 320
Joined: October 31st, 2011, 11:05 am
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#62 Post by T Fletcher » August 3rd, 2018, 5:22 pm

2014 Kutch SCM
2015 Ferren Silver Eagle (this is Matt Courtney's personal project; Matt makes Arista now and was the AW at Marcassin)
2013 Rivers Marie Thieriot
Last edited by T Fletcher on August 10th, 2018, 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Trent Fletcher
CT: tcufletch

User avatar
T Fletcher
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 320
Joined: October 31st, 2011, 11:05 am
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#63 Post by T Fletcher » August 3rd, 2018, 5:24 pm

K John Joseph wrote:So, um, anyone have a 2014 Kutch SCM they'd like to discuss parting with?
I think I have one more bottle. Opened one last week while on vacation and I'm a little behind on updating my CT inventory. If I do, we need to get an offline together.
Trent Fletcher
CT: tcufletch

Dan Kravitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#64 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 3rd, 2018, 5:54 pm

Had one that has been mentioned in this thread the night before last. Will post on it tomorrow (both here and new thread with other wines). My first 100 point California Chardonnay. No shocks, revelations or discoveries, just a consistently great wine opened at perfection.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

User avatar
PHuff
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 469
Joined: January 31st, 2010, 5:19 pm
Location: New Jersey

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#65 Post by PHuff » August 3rd, 2018, 6:01 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:Had one that has been mentioned in this thread the night before last. Will post on it tomorrow (both here and new thread with other wines). My first 100 point California Chardonnay. No shocks, revelations or discoveries, just a consistently great wine opened at perfection.

Dan Kravitz
My bet:

Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay
Paul

AlexS
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20548
Joined: February 19th, 2009, 4:05 pm
Location: Mwaukee, 'sconsin

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#66 Post by AlexS » August 3rd, 2018, 6:03 pm

2008 Marcassin Marcassin
2008 Marcassin Three Sisters
2011 Liquid Farm Four, Golden Slope, White Hill (in order)
2014 Kutch SCM
2014 Rivers-Marie SC
2013 Ceritas Heintz
2013 Ceritas Pinnacle
2012 Ceritas Peter Martin Ray
2007 Beringer Sbragia
s t e w @ r t

User avatar
M. Dildine
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21336
Joined: February 8th, 2009, 5:09 pm
Location: Alta California

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#67 Post by M. Dildine » August 3rd, 2018, 7:14 pm

So many of the wines listed here are SCM.
Cheers,

Mike

User avatar
Matthew King
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1193
Joined: January 31st, 2015, 6:58 pm
Location: Santa Monica

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#68 Post by Matthew King » August 3rd, 2018, 7:31 pm

Stony Hill ... 2015 young, 1999 older
"Please don't dominate the rap Jack if you've got nothing new to say." -- Robert Hunter

User avatar
P@u1_M3nk3s
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1475
Joined: June 7th, 2009, 2:14 pm
Location: El Cerrito CA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#69 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » August 3rd, 2018, 7:39 pm

K John Joseph wrote:So, um, anyone have a 2014 Kutch SCM they'd like to discuss parting with?
Sorry, all gone!
Cheers,
Paul

User avatar
Jason Hagen
Posts: 5082
Joined: February 2nd, 2009, 10:37 am
Location: SoCal

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#70 Post by Jason Hagen » August 3rd, 2018, 8:45 pm

Nice to see Kalin mentioned. I didn't have any notes in recent times but certainly some of the best chardonnays made in California. Plus current releases are well over 20 years old and stored at the winery. For $40!!!! And their website is second to none. Truly ground breaking and far a head of its time.

Jason

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1767
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#71 Post by Mel Knox » August 3rd, 2018, 9:56 pm

1992 Au Bon Climat Sanford and Benedict Chardonnay tasted out of magnum this March at Heirloom restaurant in SF
ITB

J.Vizuete
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 334
Joined: March 19th, 2017, 12:15 pm

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#72 Post by J.Vizuete » August 3rd, 2018, 10:40 pm

Wayfarer 2014. Shockingly good, interesting, complex, etc, but I haven’t had anything quite as elegant as Aubert’s chardonnays.

Now I’m on yet another mailer (Kutch) thanks to you all...
John V.

Michael S. Monie
Posts: 3981
Joined: May 14th, 2013, 7:36 am

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#73 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 4th, 2018, 7:54 am

Frank Murray III wrote:
Michael S. Monie wrote:Not so much interested in that incredible bottle that you had back in 1978, (but you are certainly welcome to mention it if you should so desire) but rather wines that are out in the market now. And not particularly that one wow bottle, but a producer who consistently delivers what it is you are looking for in a California Chardonnay. Thanks.
So.....what is yours? You started an engaged topic here but we have no idea what your wine is.
I've never been on a mailing list for Chardonnay. Also, I drink a lot of white Burgs. My favorite Cali's: Ramey Ritchie and more recently Woolsey, Hartford Court Stone Côte, and Forman.
Fly on, Little Wing.

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5755
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#74 Post by Blake Brown » August 4th, 2018, 8:21 am

2000 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay XX Anniversary Passant des Nuits-Blanches au Bouge
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

J.Vizuete
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 334
Joined: March 19th, 2017, 12:15 pm

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#75 Post by J.Vizuete » August 4th, 2018, 8:33 am

I also opened an 09 Ramey Ritchie in June, and was far less impressed compared to prior bottles. Anyone tried Bevan’s rendition?

Oh and Hartford’s four hearts (2016) is a wildly good QPR around $40
John V.

User avatar
Todd F r e n c h
Site Admin
<dfn>Site Admin</dfn>
Posts: 38553
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 8:46 am
Location: San Clemente, CA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#76 Post by Todd F r e n c h » August 4th, 2018, 8:40 am

'15 Hanzell (estate) and the Rhys Alpine Frank brought to dinner a few months back (what vintage??) that I guessed blind
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

David Cooper
Posts: 1002
Joined: March 18th, 2015, 1:58 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#77 Post by David Cooper » August 4th, 2018, 9:17 am

2008 Ici/La-Bas Chardonnay Victoria Elke Vineyard.

I bought 4 of these from K and L in 2015 and enjoyed all but one of them which was premoxed.

Michael Kennedy
Posts: 25
Joined: October 30th, 2015, 8:31 am
Location: Cocoa, Fl

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#78 Post by Michael Kennedy » August 4th, 2018, 9:20 am

In the last 5 years I have started to drink some of my Peter Michael chardonnays.
Most Memorable '96 la Carriere with crab cakes in Annapolis, MD
Recent '12 Belle Cote, and '13 Mon Plaisir

My son always questions me why we don't drink more of my PM. I find with an addition 3+ years in the bottle the wine gets so much better.

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1767
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#79 Post by Mel Knox » August 4th, 2018, 9:52 am

David
Where are you
??
I ll get you another bottle of ici la bas.
ITB

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1767
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#80 Post by Mel Knox » August 4th, 2018, 9:53 am

David
It seems u r in Canada...not sure what I can do
ITB

User avatar
Robert.Fleming
Posts: 7154
Joined: June 11th, 2009, 1:58 pm
Location: Atlanta

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#81 Post by Robert.Fleming » August 4th, 2018, 9:55 am

2011 Arcadian Clos Pepe (current release).



Disclosure: I have a commercial interest in Arcadian Winery.

bradkaplan
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 491
Joined: September 8th, 2009, 6:30 pm

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#82 Post by bradkaplan » August 4th, 2018, 10:02 am

Don't drink much Cali chard, but big fan of all of these (mostly older vintage that I've had in past couple years):

2005 Salinia Chardonnay Heintz Ranch
2006 Salinia Chardonnay Heintz Ranch
2013 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard
1995 Kalin Cellars Chardonnay
www.ThirstySouth.com

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5755
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#83 Post by Blake Brown » August 4th, 2018, 10:19 am

Mel Knox wrote:David
It seems u r in Canada...not sure what I can do
That`s OK Mel. I`ll take it.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Frank Murray III
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7691
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: South OC

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#84 Post by Frank Murray III » August 4th, 2018, 10:41 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:'15 Hanzell (estate) and the Rhys Alpine Frank brought to dinner a few months back (what vintage??) that I guessed blind
2015 Alpine it was, Frenchie.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Occidental Ridge SC
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

Kindness matters.

User avatar
P. D e r d e y n
Posts: 496
Joined: January 30th, 2014, 8:47 pm

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#85 Post by P. D e r d e y n » August 4th, 2018, 12:48 pm

K John Joseph wrote:So, um, anyone have a 2014 Kutch SCM they'd like to discuss parting with?
I have 6. Sounds like it's time for another offline.
Patrick

Robert Broder
Posts: 376
Joined: July 16th, 2010, 8:26 am
Location: Bryn Mawr, PA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#86 Post by Robert Broder » August 4th, 2018, 1:06 pm

Kongsgaard 05 Napa Chard. Had 1 in 09 and 1 in 17. Both great, but the 1 I drank In 17 was special.

Shay_A
Posts: 49
Joined: March 24th, 2016, 3:49 pm
Location: Fort Worth, TX

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#87 Post by Shay_A » August 4th, 2018, 2:43 pm

I only had my first glass of wine a little over 4 years ago, but the easy choices so far are 2009 and 2010 Aubert Lauren & 2004 Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch.

I’ve only had a glass of a Kutch wine Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast, I believe) so I evidently missed out on the incredible ‘14 SCM!
Shay Aldriedge

Dan Kravitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#88 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 4th, 2018, 3:59 pm

Ed Steinway and P Huff: We are on the same page.

No revelations or discoveries here, just my best showing ever for an all-time favorite and great:

2005 Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains – Always great wine, this last bottle was just stunning. I’ve noted the color variation between bottles and enjoyed wonderful bottles that were medium to deep gold. But this one was a bright straw color. The aromas were amazingly young and fresh, featuring white fruits, quince, hazelnut, pine and cactus flower. The palate was truly dense, muscular without a hint of fat, with immediate pig-iron hardness instantly yielding to something firm but friendly, like you lay down on a mattress that only exists in dreams. The panoply of flavors were fully equal to the texture, now with the tiniest hint of butter, something I’ve never found in any other vintage of this wine. Seamless and riveting, it got everybody’s attention and was perfect with grilled swordfish, eggplant and carrots. Rated 100.
I have one bottle left, will consume it before next summer. I have downplayed the color variation in this and other Mount Eden Chardonnay bottlings, but it looks like I learned something from this: I guess the color variation matters. This was the lightest colored bottle of this I’ve had in maybe five years and clearly the best.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1767
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#89 Post by Mel Knox » August 4th, 2018, 4:27 pm

Some of my runners up :
04 Mt EDEN Reserve
97 Marcassin Lorenzo and Gauer ranch
ITB

User avatar
Bill Sweeney
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 336
Joined: April 30th, 2010, 10:58 am
Location: Bedford PA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#90 Post by Bill Sweeney » August 5th, 2018, 4:57 am

What I am taking away from this thread is that there are a lot of great Chardonnays I have never tasted!

User avatar
Merrill Lindquist
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 10792
Joined: July 22nd, 2009, 6:58 pm
Location: Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#91 Post by Merrill Lindquist » August 5th, 2018, 11:10 am

Ceritas. Favorite single vineyard varies with the vintage.
Merrill
EMH Vineyards - Home of the Black Cat
email:Merrill@EMHVineyards.com

David Cooper
Posts: 1002
Joined: March 18th, 2015, 1:58 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#92 Post by David Cooper » August 5th, 2018, 12:55 pm

Mel Knox wrote:David
Where are you
??
I ll get you another bottle of ici la bas.
Mel. That is such a kind offer. It was just an attempt to keep it real. I was looking at my CT notes and noted there was one lesser bottle. The other 3 were so good it made up for the mediocre one. I wouldn't expect you to replace the bottle even if you could.

I have had a Marcassin and a few Rhys and many Mt. Eden Chardonnays that have been great wines but I loved these 3 bottles for their purity.

Dan Kravitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#93 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 5th, 2018, 1:30 pm

"So many of the wines listed here are SCM."

I guess it's possible to make a case that Napa Valley might have the best California terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't think it's possible to make a case that any California terroir except for the Santa Cruz Mountains has the best terroir for Chardonnay.

OK, I clearly haven't had all of them from other places, especially not very many of the top-end luxury ones selling in triple digits. But it would be really, really hard to find any SCM Chardonnay that's not at least very good. And great as Mount Eden Chardonnay is, I would put Ridge on or near the same level, especially Monte Bello.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

User avatar
Gus Johnson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 78
Joined: December 17th, 2010, 5:55 pm
Location: Austin, TX

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#94 Post by Gus Johnson » August 5th, 2018, 1:58 pm

2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard; had my first bottle in 2015. Curious if anyone has checked in on this bottling more recently.

Dan Kravitz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#95 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 5th, 2018, 2:25 pm

to Gus Johnson,

I posted on this a week or two ago, here's the note.

2012 Rhys Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains ‘Horseshoe Vineyard’ – from 375ml – Light gold color. Lovely aromas feature white flowers, stones and crisp pear, with less of the conifer I usually relish in Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnays. The palate is muscular, vigorous and dense, with a mineral flair I rarely find in any Chardonnay, even Chablis. This is adamant and incredibly still tastes young despite the horrible treatment. There is fine balance, although the muscularity indicates that there are many years of improvement left. Rated 94, 2 – 4 points of improvement likely over 5+ years, especially in 750ml. This is great wine.

In the beginning of the post, I noted that this was decanted and chilled the night before, then went for a five hour hike in very hot weather, then was chilled for again for a few hours before consumption. That was the horrible treatment.

Dan Kravitz
swillmaster - ITB

User avatar
Alan Rath
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 18480
Joined: April 24th, 2009, 12:45 am
Location: Bay Area, CA. Sometimes out to lunch.

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#96 Post by Alan Rath » August 5th, 2018, 3:02 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:I guess it's possible to make a case that Napa Valley might have the best California terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't think it's possible to make a case that any California terroir except for the Santa Cruz Mountains has the best terroir for Chardonnay.

OK, I clearly haven't had all of them from other places, especially not very many of the top-end luxury ones selling in triple digits. But it would be really, really hard to find any SCM Chardonnay that's not at least very good. And great as Mount Eden Chardonnay is, I would put Ridge on or near the same level, especially Monte Bello.
I would argue that Napa is simply too warm to grow great Chardonnay, at least once you're north of Yountville. But there are plenty of vineyards farther west in Sonoma county, particularly western and true Sonoma Coast, that are well positioned to produce beautiful wines. I might rank the Ridge up there, if they used a bit less oak, but I think the Rhys terroir is even better for Chardonnay (being one ridge to the west, with it's accompanying coolness relative to Ridge).
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

Michael S. Monie
Posts: 3981
Joined: May 14th, 2013, 7:36 am

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#97 Post by Michael S. Monie » August 5th, 2018, 3:20 pm

I'm not going to say that Ric Forman's Napa Valley Chardonnay is great, but it is very, very good. Winemaking can't be discounted from the equation.
Fly on, Little Wing.

User avatar
Brennan Anderson
Posts: 64
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 9:24 pm
Location: Napa, CA

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#98 Post by Brennan Anderson » August 5th, 2018, 4:01 pm

My tasting group did a blind tasting of multiple vintages of Sandhi Sanford & Benedict vs. Roulot Meix Chavaux a few months ago. I was really impressed with how well the Sandhi showed. My go-to Napa Chard is HdV - very nicely walks the line between richness and elegance IMO. For Russian River, Rochioli and Dutton Goldfield have been my stand-outs. Plenty have mentioned Rhys already for Santa Cruz and I'll cast another vote there as well.
ITB

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1767
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#99 Post by Mel Knox » August 5th, 2018, 4:47 pm

Blake
I wouldn’t bring one of our young wines to share....
ITB

User avatar
Leonard Maran
Posts: 1108
Joined: August 26th, 2009, 1:13 pm
Location: San Francisco

The Best California Chardonnay That You've Had In The Last 5 Years?

#100 Post by Leonard Maran » August 5th, 2018, 6:40 pm

"I would argue that Napa is simply too warm to grow great Chardonnay, at least once you're north of Yountville. But there are plenty of vineyards farther west in Sonoma county, particularly western and true Sonoma Coast, that are well positioned to produce beautiful wines. I might rank the Ridge up there, if they used a bit less oak, but I think the Rhys terroir is even better for Chardonnay (being one ridge to the west, with it's accompanying coolness relative to Ridge."

There will always be an exception and Stony Hill is one.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”