Robert Parker, The Wine AdvocateStonestreet’s wines continue to go from strength to strength under the direction of South African winemaker Graham Weerts. The Chardonnays are spectacular, and the estate has added cuvees of Sauvignon and Semillon as well as a Riesling that are also noteworthy. The red wines are meant for those with cold storage facilities since they tend to be huge, tannic behemoths that need time in the bottle, even in a precocious, difficult vintage such as 2011. All five Chardonnays are brilliant, 100% Chardonnays fermented with indigenous yeasts in the barrel and aged ten months in anywhere from 45% to 100% new French oak. The results are stunning. The wines are all more similar than dissimilar, but I will try to articulate their minor differences.
Robert Parker, The Wine AdvocateOne of my favorites is the 2012 Chardonnay Upper Barn, which boasts remarkable intensity as well as lots of tropical fruit, a stony-like minerality, and a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel. This is a multi-dimensional, profound Chardonnay (as it often was when made by Helen Turley) from a vineyard planted with an Old Wente clone as well as the Hyde clone of Chardonnay. It should drink well for 5-6 years.
Stephen Tanzer's IWCBright medium yellow. Brilliantly pure aromas and flavors of ripe peach, green melon, soft citrus fruit and brown spices are complicated by a subtle leesy quality. Hugely rich, pliant and sweet but with harmonious acidity and an impression of dusty extract framing the wine's almost exotic fruit. This is bigger than most red wines but not at all over the top. The wonderfully tactile, youthful finish features outstanding palate-drenching length. Exceptional Chardonnay.
ChardonnayProbably the world's most famous grape, and also one of the most versatile, Chardonnay produces excellent white wines in a range of styles. When aged in oak, Chardonnay exhibits buttery, vanilla and sometimes nutty flavors. Unoaked examples are crisp and fruity, with green apple or tropical flavors. Chardonnay is the grape used to make White Burgundy, Sancerre and Chablis, and may also be used to produce Champagne. View all our additional Chardonnay items
Alexander ValleyFormally granted AVA status in 1984, the Alexander Valley is 22 miles of prime viticultural land. The hills and valley floor host over 13,000 acres of premium wine grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. Less known varietals like Viognier, Pinot Blanc, Shiraz and Sangiovese are also grown here, making the Alexander Valley a very diverse wine region. More than 50 wineries call this corner of Sonoma County home. View all our items from Alexander Valley
CaliforniaSince the famous Judgement of Paris in 1976 California wines have unquestionably ranked among the best in the world. From the Anderson Valley in the North through Temecula Valley in the South, California vineyards grow dozens of wine grape varietals that produce wines of many different styles. The California wine industry has steadily gained ground since the 1960s (the industry took a major hit following Prohibition), but its roots date back over 200 years. Major grape varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. View all our items from California