Melville Vineyards Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills 2015
Pale straw in color, with intriguing aromatics of grilled lemon, honeysuckle and pear emerging up front. On the palate, notes of fresh ginger, kumquat and dried straw mingle with weightier impressions of sourdough toast, caramel and roasted marshmallow. The mouthfeel is velvety, with a touch of oiliness on the mid-palate along with an energetic streak of acidity that anchors a voluptuous and polished finish.
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Schug Chardonnay 2018, Sonoma Coast, California, USA$34.00
Schug crafted this Chardonnay from select vineyards located in the Sonoma Coast appellation, including the microclimates of western Carneros, southern Sonoma Valley and the Petaluma Gap. Produced in a lively, crisp style that emphasizes varietal character without the use of new oak, it has a spicy citrus bouquet that leads to juicy flavors of white peach and nectarine, followed by a sleek, juicy finish. Try it as an elegant aperitif paired with hors d’oeuvres, or with lighter dishes such as soups, salads, seafood and pasta dishes.
Trefethen Chardonnay 2018
Ample rainfall in the spring recharged the soil profile and provided a strong start to the growing season. The weather during the summer featured consistent warmth and sunshine without any major heat spells. Cooler than average temperatures in August and September slowed the ripening process for the Trefethen Chardonnay 2018, providing long hang time and leading to complex flavor development.
Aromas of lemon and lime are complemented by a touch of apple blossom and white peach. Subtle notes of toasted oak frame the palate which features more citrus flavors and hints of apple and pear. The lively acidity brings great balance and the finish is refreshing and smooth.
The bright citrus notes of the Trefethen Chardonnay 2018 make it a perfect match for shellfish and tarragon. Try a simple dish of salt and pepper shrimp or caramelized jumbo scallops over rice. Also try adding tarragon to fresh goat cheese and enjoy with your favorite torn bread and good friends!
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!