Cheers April/May 2018

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 52 of 59 53 April/May 2018 • SIPPING CHARDONNAY (98) Hartford Court "Stone Côte Vineyard" Chardonnay (California). This beautiful Burgundian-style chardonnay is 100% barrel-fermented and aged complete- ly 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 (California). Paul Hobbs has done it again! His entry-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-bal- anced 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 10 years down the road. ($60) OUR PANEL RATES THE POPULAR VARIETAL For our latest round of National Retailer Wine Panel reviews, we asked panelists to taste and grade bottles of chardonnay, any style from anywhere. 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). Unless noted otherwise, the price refl ects a 750-ml. bottle. If you're a beverage professional with a specialty in wine and you're interested in participating in the panel, please contact managing editor Kyle Swartz at or 203-855-8499 x2225. RATING SYSTEM Five stars (92-100 points) A top-fl ight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an outstanding price/value relationship. Four stars (86-91 points) A superb wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back. Three stars (80-85 points) An above-average wine at a reasonable price point, one that many consumers will enjoy. Photo Credit: © SrdjanPav

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