Stateways March April 2018

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | March/April 2018 45 RETAILER WINE SELECTIONS Chardonnay We asked members of our panel to taste and evaluate CHARDONNAY. As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine's retail price (which can vary from store to store and market to market). If you're a beverage profes- sional with a specialty in wine and you're inter- ested in participating in the panel, please con- tact associate editor Kyle Swartz at kswartz@ or 203-855-8499 x2225. ★★★★★ FIVE STARS (92-100) A top-flight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/ value relationship. ★★★★ FOUR STARS (86-91) A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back. ★★★ THREE STARS (80-85) An above-average wine, at a reasonable price point, which many customers will enjoy. RANKING SYSTEM Five Stars (98) Hartford Court "Stone Côte Vineyard" Chardonnay (California). This beautiful Bur- gundian-style chardonnay is 100% barrel-fer- mented and aged completely in French oak. Amazingly balanced. This wine is a terrifi c example of chardonnay, with a straw-yellow hue and a stunning nose of tropical fruit, citrus oil and orange blossom. It is full-bodied, with tangy acidity, complemented by suggestions of toast and minerals. Outstanding! ($69.99) (96) Crossbarn Chardonnay 2016 (Califor- nia). Paul Hobbs has done it again! His en- try-level 2016 Crossbarn Chardonnay is truly one of the best values in California. Bright citrus and lemon rind on the palate. ($28.49) (95) Tasca d'Almerita Chardonnay (Italy). This is an amazing, well-balanced wine from Sicily, where the Mediterranean climate is ideal for growing chardonnay. It's warm and sunny with coastal breezes and high elevation; this helps moderate the balance between fruit and acidity. This in combination with use of new French oak creates a wine full of body and richness, with notes of ripened banana and pear. There is also subtle nuttiness with brioche undertones, all backed with a line of bright acidity. It is a wine that is great to drink now and even ten years down the road. ($60) (95) Talley Rincon Vineyards 2015 (Califor- nia). Perfect combo of minerality and butter. Rich, silky, elegant with a super-long fi nish. Aromas are like a fi eld of wildfl owers. A true treat. ($45) (95) Keenan Chardonnay 2015 (California). This chardonnay has everything. Citrus and crisp fresh pineapple on the palate dance harmoniously with the grapefruit on the nose. Keenan has found a wonderful balance of oak and sur-lie aging, giving the wine a magnifi cent texture and mouthfeel. ($29.99) (95) Poderi Aldo Conterno "Bussiador" Langhe Docg 2014 (Italy). Many people know of the great chardonnays of California and Bur- gundy, but there are so many other great char- donnays in this world! I love the chardonnays of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Typically known for Nebbiole, some producers have found much success with chardonnay. Poderi Aldo Con- terno produces a full-bodied chardonnay with the backbone of acid needed to stand the test of time. Also it has notes of pineapple and nuts with a long, clean fi nish. Aldo is mostly known for his Barolo, but he produces this wonderful Chardonnay. ($70) PHOTO CREDIT: ©ISTOCK.COM/PATRIKSTEDRAK

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