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Recently Tasted Chardonnay

2014 FEL Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., $48. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Highly engaging aromas of lemon curd, Golden Delicious apple, buttery brioche, crème brûlée and a touch of spice. Delicious flavors of lemon, pineapple, pear, spice and caramel are complimented by crisp acidity in a bold quintessential California style barrel fermented Chardonnay that offers both abundant fruit flavor as well as quenching vibrancy. Score: 94

2014 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.61, 25,000 cases, $35. The foundation of this wine is the Frank Family’s Lewis Vineyard in Napa Carneros. Other fruit sources include Beckstoffer Vineyards and Hudson Vineyards in Napa Carneros and Sangiacomo Vineyards in Sonoma Carneros. Barrel fermented and aged with lees stirring for 9 months in French oak barrels, 34% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of petrichor, apple, pear, white peach, straw and vanilla. Crisp and fresh on the palate, with apple-focused flavor and very little oak overlay. Score: 89

2014 Frank Family Vineyards Lewis Vineyard Reserve Carneros Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.26, TA 0.61, 1,000 cases, $65. Dijon clones. Aged 11 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. More oak influence in this reserve wine, but it is not overbearing. Aromas of apple, lemon curd and spice gather intensity over time in the glass. Refined, seamless and sophisticated, with a tasty melange of citrus, apple, tropical fruit and spice flavors and beautifully integrated oak accents. A classy wine that has all the best features of barrel fermentation. Score: 94

2015 Kingston Family Vineyards Sabino Casablanca Chile Chardonnay

12.5% alc., 110 cases, $26, screwcap. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels including some large format barrels and egg-shaped concrete tanks. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Shy aromas of pungent herbs, moss, lemon cream and a hint of toasty oak. Crisp and bright in a mildly austere style with flavors of lemon-lime and grapefruit, a slightly viscous texture, with good balance and a refreshing finish. Tasted several hours later, the wine was unchanged. Score: 88

2015 Loring Wine Company Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.44, 100 cases, $44, screwcap. Released September 2016. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lemon wafer, white orchard fruits and flint lead off in this appealing wine with alluring flavors of lemon, pineapple, yellow apple and brioche. Slightly creamy in the mouth, with a deft touch of oak and an uplifting, juicy finish. Score: 90

2015 Loring Wine Company Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.47, 100 cases, screwcap, $44. Release February 2017. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of white stone fruits, lemon oil, caramelized popcorn and grilled banana. Silky in the mouth with somewhat restrained and well-ripened fruit flavors of nectarine, pineapple and burnt lemon with toasty oak in the background, a supportive acid framework and a lip-smacking finish. This wine will appeal to fans of well-oaked Chardonnay. Score: 87

2014 Peake Ranch Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 327 cases, $40. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Demure aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, paraffin and subtle oak lead to flavors of pineapple, apple, grilled lemon, guava and charred oak in a slightly creamy style with well-integrated acidity. Score: 89

2015 Screen Door Cellars Asern Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., $25. Inaugural release. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Complex aromatic pleasure including scents of lemongrass, green apple, peach skin, dried herbs and chalk dust. Flavors of lemon, pear, Gravenstein apple and buttery brioche fan out on the palate and hold court through a tight, lemony finish. Crisp, even slightly steely, with icy Green Valley acidity elevating the fruit flavors. Score: 93

2014 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., $50. · Moderately light golden yellow color and crystal clear in the glass. Generous oak overlay intercedes in this wine with aromas of baked apple, toast, oak spice, buttery brioche and nuts, and bold flavors of pineapple, lemon, vanilla, caramel and toast. Slightly creamy on the palate, with integrated acidity and some lingering oak-kissed fruit on the finish. Score: 88

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