Jayson by Pahlmeyer Chardonnay 2017, Napa County
The Jayson Chardonnay 2017 has brilliant golden straw color and aromas of warm spice, tangerine, and sweet orange; intriguing tropical floral notes carry over onto the palate. Notes of ripe pear, apricot, and mango peel are accented by warm spice and rich caramel, for a wine that is both weighty and fresh. Editor’s Choice 94 points Wine Enthusiast.
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Baileyana Edna Valley Chardonnay 2017$23.00
The Baileyana Chardonnay 2017 is loaded with tropical fruit, honeydew, caramel, and vanilla. The round, creamy mouthfeel is complemented by aromatic oak and the bright acidity of our cool climate fruit. Apple pie spices, cinnamon, and preserved lemon flavors combine with a hint of minerality for a long, rich finish. Perfect with those summer salads and seafoods!
Steven Kent Merrillie Chardonnay 2016, Mission Ranch, Arroyo Seco$35.00
The Mirassou family – the oldest winemaking family in the United States – have been pioneers in a number of important ways. One of the most relevant in terms of this new Chardonnay release is that they were the first family to plant vineyards in modern-day Monterey County in 1961. Aged on the lees for about 10 months and barrel-fermented in about 50% new French oak, three sub-lots of Chardonnay were blended and bottled without filtration or fining. Each sub-lot (of roughly equal size) was fermented with a different yeast regimen. For one portion we did “native” fermentation (letting the ambient yeast environment ferment the must) while the other lots were fermented with one of our favored cultured
yeasts: CY-3079 and QA23. Each lot was wonderfully individualistic, differing in flavor, aroma, and texture. Together, they created a wine of finesse and elegance; mouth-filling richness underscored by precise, length-producing acidity.
Monthelie Blanc Cuvee Miss Armande 2015$38.00
Wedged between Volnay and Meursault, Monthelie produces vastly more red than white, making the 201 Chardonnay that much more unique and impressive: It is close to Meursault in both place of origin and style, showing serious power, perfume, and classic structure. Adding to the already considerable charm of this wine is its fantastic backstory. The name “Cuvée Miss Armande” refers (and pays tribute) to Armande Douhairet, who for many years helmed this family domaine. She had no heirs, and took the extraordinary step of legally adopting André Porcheret—a grown man and well-known Burgundy winemaking figure to boot—so that she could leave the domaine to him (she passed away in 2004).
In the glass, the 2014 “Cuvée Miss Armande” is a deep, reflective yellow-gold with slight hints of green at the rim. The nose is an assertive mix of Asian pear, apple blossoms, white flowers and Meyer lemon followed by notes of toasted hazelnut, white mushroom, beeswax, and even a hint of drawn butter (calling classic Meursault to mind). There’s a level of richness and accessibility that is perfectly framed by acidity, suggesting many years of positive evolution ahead. We’re intrigued to see what this wine becomes after 3-5 years more cellaring; my bet it that it will outperform lots of much-more-expensive competition. Enjoy this—it’s a truly fabulous Burgundy bargain!