Sbragia Home Ranch Chardonnay 2018
Farmed by our family for decades, Home Ranch vineyards is located at the southeast end of Dry Creek Valley, with temperatures cooler than most of the appellation; closer to typical Russian River temperatures than Dry Creek Valley ones. The long, ideal 2018 growing season created a textbook Sonoma Chardonnay – aromas of ripe green apples and apricots, ripe fruit flavors with notes of pineapple, grapefruit and lemon oil, and finishing with a kiss of vanilla, sweet oak and cloves.
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L’Ecole No. 41 Chardonnay 2018, Columbia Valley$25.00
Some of the best Chardonnays in Washington State are grown in the slightly cooler growing conditions of the Yakima Valley and in the northern latitudes of the Columbia Valley. The Schmitt and Oasis Vineyards (Yakima Valley) provide nice tropical fruit while Evergreen Vineyard (latitude 47 on the Columbia River) contributes crisp acidity and minerality.
This classic Chardonnay offers an inviting mix of baked apple, Asian pear, and stone. With lemon oil and brioche on the mid-palate, this wine lively builds to a long mineral finish.
Banshee Chardonnay 2018$28.00
This vintage was sourced from a variety of vineyards in the Sonoma Coast including both of the single vineyard sites, Heintz and Bohemian. These vineyards tended to deliver fully developed flavors at relatively high natural acidities, giving them remarkable length and verve. These vineyards tended to deliver fully developed flavors at relatively high natural acidity, giving remarkable length and verve. This wine leans towards orchard fruit showing both apple and pear but also hints of tropical fruits and vanilla bean. In the mouth the wine is moderate weight but packs extraordinary depth of flavor, echoing the aroma with fuji apple, meyer lemon, sage and vanilla panna cotta. The finish is all energy with mouthwatering citrus notes.
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!