Pedroncelli Chardonnay 2016
Citrus, peach and floral notes in the bouquet of the Pedroncelli Chardonnay 2016 lead to flavors of fresh peach, green apple, a touch of lemon, and tropical fruit. The blend of the two Chardonnay lots adds both fruit forward qualities and a creamy texture. Highlighted by bright acidity, the wine finishes crisp with a fine lingering finish. Drink now—no aging required.
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!
Neyers Vineyard Chardonnay 2016, Carneros, Sonoma County, California, USA$36.00
The 2016 vintage was great for Chardonnay, giving us
long, sunny days with mild temperatures that retained
the fruit’s natural acidity. Our fermentation was carried
out in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels
using native wild yeast, and periodically lees stirring. The
finished wine is rich and creamy with a charming
butterscotch component, and a trace of grilled bread in
Steven Kent Merrillie Chardonnay 2015, Mission Ranch, Arroyo Seco$34.00
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.