Cheers April/May 2018

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Page 54 of 59 55 April/May 2018 • chamomile. Try it with baked white fi sh in lemon and herbs de Provence. ($24.95) (92) J. Lohr October Nite Chardonnay 2016 (California). My humble take is to view this as the little brother to the Arroyo Vista from Lohr. A very Burgundian approach to production and aging, including nighttime hand-harvesting, three clone selection, and 10 months aging in French oak barrels. Rich, creamy mouthfeel, with toasted oak notes and fl oral elements of orange and gardenia blossoms. ($24.99) (92) King's Pass Chardonnay 2015 (California). An elegant chardonnay with lots of apple and lemon notes that supported a mineral-laden fi nish. The lemon and lime fl avors mid-palate provides lift, and the slight roundness of oak adds to the elegance. ($17.99) (92) Sonoma Loeb Chardonnay 2016 (California). This chardonnay offers an impressive nose and matching palate of white fl owers, Bartlett pear and oak notes that provide structure. Medium-bodied, zippy fresh on the palate. This is a stimulat- ing and balanced chardonnay. ($26.99) (92) Tuli Chardonnay 2016 (California). A bold, brash chardonnay loaded with tropical fruit and oak notes. The intensity of the wine is shocking and impressive, yet still has a creamy texture to it that harnesses the rich fruit notes. ($27.99) (92) Barra Chardonnay 2016 (California). Organic and vegan, this wine hits all the right marks of a California chardonnay. A touch of creaminess on the palate, a hint of cooked apples—but the best part? Just enough acid to make it well balanced. A great, palatable chardonnay. If more California producers could do this, chardonnay could buck the over-oaked stigma! ($17.99) (92) Silvio Jermann, "Where Dreams" Venezia Giulia Bianco, IGT 2014 (Italy). Northeastern Italy is known for producing some of the greatest Italian wines. This wine is a chardonnay blend, and is also his fl agship wine. A cleaner style with a bit less oak infl uence, showcasing its bright, sharp acidity, which is great for pairing with food. ($35) FOUR STARS (91) Closerie Alisierie Bourgogne Blanc 2015 (France). A classic-look white Burgundy for a great price! A great balance between fruit and acid, but not too much to scare off the "New World chardonnay" drinkers. This is about as good as it gets in Burgundy for under $20. ($16.99) (91) Daou Chardonnay 2015 (California). The aromas from the nose jump from the glass with tropical fruits and toasted nuts, with a hint of cream. This Paso Robles chardonnay has a rich, smooth mouthfeel with crisp and vibrant acidity and on the palate, fl avors of white peach, melon and lemon zing. The lingering fi nish is clean, leaving fl avors of citrus and vanilla. ($19.99) (91) Kumeu, Estate Chardonnay 2014 (New Zealand). Aromas of toast, nutmeg, marzipan. Full-bodied and layered with pear, white peach and almond, fi nishing with a lingering almond bread note. ($29.99) (91) Cambria Santa Maria Valley 2015 (California). Estate fruit grown in limestone and fossilized seashells adds structure to complex spice, citrus, pineapple, honeydew and white peach. Sustainably grown. A great value—your friends will think you paid a lot more! ($14.95) (91) Four Vines Naked Chardonnay 2015 (California). Completely unoaked—full of tropical fl avors and easy acidity on the fi nish. Nice food wine, especially with fi sh and appetizers. ($10) (91) Rombauer Chardonnay 2013 (California). This is the wine your dinner party has been missing. Ripe, buttery and layered. Ripe peach with a medium fi nish. ($35.99) (91) Butter Knife Chardonnay 2016 (California). True to the name, this wine is packed with creamy, rich butter notes and is not shy about it. These are some nice baked apple and cinnamon notes, but the focus is certainly its namesake. ($15.99) (91) Melt Chardonnay 2015 (California). There are bright and nice baked pear and apple pie notes to the wine, but the initial attack on your palate is, without a doubt, a rich, creamy buttery note. ($13.99) (91) Beyer Ranch Chardonnay 2016 (California). A very tropical chardonnay with pineapple and mango on the nose and palate. This fruit-forward chardonnay has oak for balance and a light toasty fl avor, but is bright and zesty from top to bottom. ($12.99) (91) Oak Ridge Chardonnay 2016 (California). This is a fresh and vibrant chardonnay, showing aromas of white fl owers and ripe green apple. The barrel fermentation provides a creamy texture and vanilla notes that round out the mid-palate and fi nish. ($16.99) (91) Migration Chardonnay 2016 (California). Winemaker Dana Epperson has the ability to source from some of the best vineyard sites in the cool climate of the Russian River valley. Aging regimen uses 90% French oak over a 10-month period in addition to 75% malolactic fer- mentation to evoke rich buttery and vanilla fl avors, along with tangy citrus fl avors and aromas of white spring fl owers and fresh baked bread. Rich and elegant. ($46.99) (91) Crimson Ranch Chardonnay 2016 (California). The use of oak on this wine creates a nice balance to the clean fruit notes on the palate and nose. It provides structure, depth and a creamy texture to this powerful, elegant chardonnay. ($16.99) (91) River Road Chardonnay Reserve 2016 (California). Bright and intense, this

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