1. Gary Farrell Chardonnay 2015 Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay
This Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay is a pure expression of penetrating acidity moderated by layers of rich, velvety baking spices with crisp apple and citrus notes throughout. The bouquet unravels decadent aromas of shortbread, French vanilla beans and apricot Tarte Tatin, with hints of vibrant lemon zest. The warm and spicy nose paves the way for a more lean and mineral driven palate with exuberant citrus and lemon merengue pie. It slowly opens up to underlying tones of white tea, fresh kumquats and lemongrass. The complex nature of this wine keeps drinkers on their toes, while the impeccable structure is perfect for cellaring for many years to come.
Photo Credit: Gary Farrell Winery
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2. Cast Winery 2015 Chardonnay Keefer Ranch
Honeysuckle, mango and vanilla scents lead to a creamy, textured, easy-to-drink Chardonnay. Hints of crisp apple, tropical fruits and tangerine round out the mouth. There is a nice mix of citrus and acidity on the finish.
Photo Credit: Cast Wines
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3. Flanagan Winery 2016 Russian River Chardonnay
Our 2016 Flanagan Chardonnay Russian River Valley has an expressive nose that is typical of the Wente Clone of Chardonnay. The palate has an elegant mélange of stone fruit and ripe citrus flavors supported by understated barrel notes. The key to the wine is the bright acidity that ties everything together. This is a great example of what top Russian River Chardonnay sites can produce when wine making is focused on balance.
Photo Credit: Flanagan Wines
4. Ramey Wine Cellars 2014 Russian River Chardonnay
Coming from special vineyard sites, Ramey’s Chardonnay shows great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool and the soil vigor low, producing graceful yet vibrant wines.
Photo Credit: Ramey Wine
5. Vo-Kel Cellars 2015 Russian River Chardonnay
Light and bright, this Chardonnay leans more towards the style of Burgundy. You'll find green fruit on the front with a rich, creamy finish. This wine is Vokel’s first attempt to bridge the gap between old and new world Chardonnay. Their wine is allocation only, so if you're not already in-the-know, you can taste their wine (and purchase) via their exclusive experiences with WhichWinery (below) - check them out!
Photo Credit: Vokel Cellars
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6. MacRostie Winery & Vineyards 2015 Dutton Ranch Vineyard
With a pale gold color and lively nectarine, peach and gardenia aromas that jump out of the glass, this enticing wine shows the exquisite nature of Dutton Ranch Chardonnay. While the stone fruit notes are echoed on the soft, supple palate, a beam of elegant natural acidity provides energy and balance, carrying the flavors to a long finish with just a hint of salted caramel.
Photo Credit: Macrostie Winery
7. Patz & Hall 2014 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch
The phenomenal 2014 growing season yielded a standout expression of Dutton Ranch Chardonnay with all of the lush, alluring flavors and exquisitely balanced acidity that we love about this site. Heirloom clone aromas of white flowers and jasmine are soon followed by exotic layers of mango and papaya, as well as notes of green apple and toasted hazelnut. On the palate, the dramatic flavors are knit together by a dusty textural note from the lees stirring that adds nuance and structure. Overall, this is a profoundly textural wine that captures both the charm and complexity of some of Sonoma County’s oldest Chardonnay vines.
Photo Credit: Patz and Hall
8. Sonoma Cutrer 2014 Russian River Chardonnay
Russian River Ranches is a beautiful, pale straw color. On the nose, this wine is a virtual cornucopia of aromatic fruit. It opens with scents of Bosc pear and Honeycrisp apple accentuated with notes of nougat, roasted nuts, oak spice and a touch of citrus blossom. True to the Russian River Ranches style, the wine is beautifully focused on the palate with bright acidity and a nicely balanced long, flavorful structure.
Photo Credit: Sonoma Cutrer