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An ode to the blending wines used to make champagne, this wine is 53% pinot noir and 47% chardonnay, vinified with no skin contact as a full-on high-energy white wine. Yellow apple and white peach on the nose mix with classic ripe unoaked Napa chardonnay character. The palate is quite different, having a briny quality and increased depth from the pinot noir. This wine is great for sipping cold on a sunny spring day. No new oak, native yeast fermentation in barrel. Andrew Farquhar
Brian and Stephy Terrizzi's Broadside project focuses on sustainably farmed vineyards and minimalist winemaking (native yeasts, minimal handling, neutral oak), as well as purity of flavor and varietal expression.Their Central Coast Chardonnay is a quintessential example of their wine growing and winemaking philosophy; a bright and creamy Chardonnay with ripe lemon and peach flavors and a saline minerality. Jonas Mendoza
This is Broc's first vintage making Chenin Blanc from the Frei vineyard in Solano County's Green Valley AVA, located across the Napa county line from Coombsville, in Napa's southeasternmost corner. Cooled by air from the San Pablo Bay, this small viticultural area has a decidedly maritime climate. This wine, aged in handmade puncheons crafted by Stockinger (one of Austria's, and Europe's, finest artisanal cooperages), has incredible reserve, with a nose of lemon pith, hay, and woolen mittens that is a harbinger of the sturdy structure and linear acidity to be found on the palate. 118 cases made. Andrew Farquhar
A blend of 31% Melon de Bourgogne, 26% Chardonnay, 22% Chenin Blanc, 8% Viognier, 7% Riesling, and 6% Muscat sourced from Monterey, Mendocino, and Napa AVAs. The 2016 has a bouquet of lime flower, salty orange citrus and juicy stone fruit. The palate is rich and creamy but a cool mineral acidity gives an energetic lift that makes this fabulous for all seasons and with almost any dish. Recently we enjoyed this with fried shrimp tossed in chili oil. Amanda Bowman
Dragonette Cellars produces small lots of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc from cool-climate vineyards in California. The biodynamically farmed Duvarita Vineyard lies just west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation on gentle, south-facing slopes of almost pure sand. Although there’s less than 15% new oak, biscuity aromas mingle with ripe peach, melon, and lemon pith flavors along with honey and vanilla undertones. Vibrant and fresh, this Chardonnay perfectly exemplifies the terroir and potential of Santa Barbara County. Jonas Mendoza
This 100% chenin blanc is sourced from Merritt Island in the Sacramento river delta, near Clarksburg. Natural fermentation occurred after six days on the skin, and continued for a month. Broad and inviting on the nose, this wine has fine citrus character that mixes with a broader, more textured elegance on the palate. Lemon curd and a delicate peach character intermix over light tannin from the extended skin contact, though it is softer and prettier than many more deeply hued orange wines. This wine will pair excellently with heavier seafood, like braised scallops, lobster, or monkfish, particularly if a cream sauce is involved. Light sulfur only at bottling. Andrew Farquhar
A curious and fascinating Blanc de Noirs (white from red) of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Precedent is the label of Nathan Kandler, longtime winegrower at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a renowned destination for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Precedent illustrates Kandler's versatility and curiosity and has introduced us to some truly unique California vineyard sites. Wirz Vineyard is home to 60+ year-old dry farmed, head-trained Riesling on decomposed granite over limestone in the Gabilan mountains. We usually have an off-dry Riesling on the holiday table, but I'm happy to go in a drier direction in this case... Concentrated, gleaming apricot, citrus rind, and tropical fruit is laced with gritty, long minerality and backed by supple texture and acidic tension. Terrific with herbed root vegetables and citrus glazed poultry or fish and anything peppery or spicy. Ariana Rolich
Precedent is the personal project of Nathan Kandler, winemaker at the excellent Thomas Fogarty estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've never had California Chenin Blanc or you're never been thrilled by one, Precedent is a pure rendition of the grape from 30+ year-old vines planted on pink granite and silica-rich quartz soils in eastern Lodi. Ripe and pretty aromas of lemon, honeycomb, and white flowers, followed by brisk flavors of citrus and white peach, with fresh acidity and salty minerals. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur additions. Ariana Rolich
This Chardonnay comes from younger vines in Rhys' Anderson Valley Bearwallow Vineyard, and aged for 14 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Like a riper Chablis, there are notes of zesty lemon, white nectarine, and just-ripe peach. On the palate, lemon juice, lemon pith, and saline flavors with bright acidity and a tight mineral core.A perfect introduction to Rhys' stunning Chardonnays. Jonas Mendoza
This fantastic Chardonnay is from the Freedom Hill vineyard located in the foothills of the coastal range 10 miles southwest of Salem. The soil here is well-drained silty clay loam. Whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented, this wine was aged sur lie for 11 months in neutral oak before bottling. Broad and magisterial, but with great energy, this is a beautiful Chardonnay, with peach aromas and a touch of more tropical character. The sur lie aging gives it a marvelous roundness on the palate that sublimates the brighter fruit character into something lush and restrained. The retention of such energy in this wine makes it a great Chardonnay for summer, and would pair well with cold summer soups, fish, or bruschetta. While it's drinking marvelously now, this wine will improve for up to half a decade if cellared. Andrew Farquhar
This fantastic Roussanne is sourced from the valley of the mighty Columbia River. Grapes are hand harvested and immediately pressed as whole bunches. Native yeast fermentation occurs in old oak barrels followed by 6 months of elevage, with one racking before bottling and no battonage. Beautifully rounded and expressive, with tart melon and citrus pith notes mixing with a candied fruit character. This wine is an incredible textural experience, round and soft, yet somehow airy on the palate. The wine is unfiltered and lightly sulfured before bottling. Only 23 cases produced! Andrew Farquhar
For Nathan Kandler, winemaker at Thomas Fogarty, Portola Springs is the most extreme of their Santa Cruz Chardonnay vineyards, with its very steep slopes and cool marine air influence. The Chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly and yields are frustratingly low. Portola Springs has a characteristic lemon drop and verbena with flavors of lemon oil, sea spray, and dried thyme. Pair with roasted cauilflower or chicken. Jonas Mendoza
Portola Springs Vineyard is a consistent standout in the excellent range of Thomas Fogarty Chardonnays. 2012 has riper, sunnier fruit tone than the austere 2011, without sacrificing any of Portola Springs' cool mineral core and impressive, driving acidity, owing to the low-yielding, late-ripening, nearly 40-year-old vines planted on basalt and shale. Complex and rich enough to handle poultry and pork dishes, with refreshing energy to compliment seafood and veggies. Ariana Rolich