Retailer Wine Selections

For this issue, we asked members of the Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel to recommend some of their favorite chardonnays. As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’€™s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). If you’€™re a retail beverage professional who would like to learn about participating in our panel, call Richard Brandes at 212-353-3832, or email him at


(97) Staglin Salus Napa Valley Chardonnay 2007 (California). Staglin doesn’€™t just make great cabernet, it also makes great chardonnay; one would swear they were drinking great Meursault; light, perfectly balanced oak; truly a world-class California chardonnay. ($60)

(95) Lindaflor Chardonnay 2008 (Mendoza Argentina). Huge and full bodied; lots of oak, but well managed; from the property owned by Chateau le Gay. ($39)

(95) Charlet Pouilly Fuisse Les Vieux Murs 2008 (France). Inviting aromas of apple and honey; creamy with a long finish; elegant; an exceptional example of Pouilly Fuisse. ($27)


(94) Sequoia Grove Carneros Chardonnay 2009 (California). Winemaker Mike Trujillo has brought this chardonnay to new heights in quality and taste; gone are the days of slam you in the face oak with a little fruit on the finish; this deftly crafted white burgundy-ish chardonnay has hints of pear and apple in the nose with long flowing flavors on the palate, perfect integration of fruit and oak, superb depth and length and a finish that lingers on. ($25)

(94) MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2008 (California). This chardonnay offers nice flavors of melon, pineapple, apple, lemon and a hint of vanilla; big and complex with a rich creamy middle, this wine finishes crisp and dry with a perfect balance of acidity, fruit and a touch of oak. ($23)

(94) Louis Michel & Fils Petit Chablis 2009 (France). Aromas of under-ripe apple and pear with a hint of flint lead to fresh, lively flavors of those fruits with some citrus nuances; crisp acidity and minerality linger on the finish; match with cold shrimp. ($23)

(94) Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis 2009 (France). Bold stone-fruit, citrus, apple nose surrounded by terroir; lean and austere on the palate up front; it takes over in the middle and lingers on the end with that marvelous Chablis minerality; bring on the oysters! ($27)

(94) Vincent Girardin Macon-Fuisse Les Vieilles Vignes 2008 (France). From some of the oldest Macon vineyards, this is fragrant and zesty with lovely hints of peach, lemon, and anise; long, racy, and dry on the finish with a hint of terroir. ($22)

(93) Michel Picard Puligny-Montrachet 2008 (Burgundy, France). This wine is supple and subtle in the nose, with light cream notes leading into balsam and then the fruit aromas arrive, showcasing green melon and citrus marmalade; amazing on the palate, immediately opening with a beautiful mélange of ripe citrus fruit flavors, but everything is medium-bodied and perfectly balanced. ($40)

(93) 16×20 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009 (California). Citrus, tropical fruit and a slight minerality, layered with spicy nutmeg aromas; hint of creaminess, but leans more towards the crisper side; great balance and a long finish that make you want to take another sip. ($32)

(92) Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc ‘€œLes Setilles’€ 2008 (France). Terrific Burgundy; lemony citrus and a nutty thread throughout; complex with pure flavors; this wine outperforms some Village wines; depth and elegance. ($22)

(92) L’€™Ecole No 41 Chardonnay 2009 (Washington State). This elegantly expressive chardonnay offers a blend of tropical fruit, flint and crisp Asian pear; the vibrant structure of this wine is finely balanced between richness and minerality, adding complexity on the clean, lingering finish. ($20)

(92) Rutherford Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2007 (California). Aromas of grapefruit, but in a ripe fruity way, not too citrusy; serious complex notes of apricot, pear, cinnamon and vanilla with just a hint of a buttery malo in the finish. ($24)

(92) Domaine Serene Clos de Solei Chardonnay 2008 (Oregon). The bright, floral nose gives hints of citrus, flower, ripe pear, key lime, mineral, baked apple; the palate is rich and displays sweet pear and green apple with beautifully balanced acidity and a long, lingering finish. ($40)

(92) Gordon Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (Washington State). Aromas of pineapple and toffee greet the nose; smooth and appealing for its balance, this wine presents flavors of pear, golden delicious apple, citrus zest and cloves; lively acids invite these flavors to linger on the palate. ($17)

(92) Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay 2009 (California). Rich and buttery a monster chard with toasty oak and lots of cream; a big wine with lots of character; thick and inviting. ($32)

(92) Charles Wiffen Chardonnay 2008 (New Zealand). Shiny yellow metallic color, this chardonnay shows rich lemon buttered biscuit, ripe pineapple, and yellow apple notes on the nose followed by a medium body and subdued acidity; baked lemon flavors dominate the palate with a creamy, lingering finish. ($22)

(92) 90+ Cellars Lot 29 Russian River Chardonnay 2009 (California). Full-bodied buttery style; aromas of melon and peach with a silky finish; delicious and pairs well with seafood, creamy pasta dishes and chicken entrees. ($15)

(92) George Duboeuf Macon-Villages 2009 (France). This is a great summer chardonnay; light, dry and crisp; excellent food companion during the warm weather. ($14)


(91) Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2008 (California). Straw color; apple aroma with apple and pear flavors; nice long finish. ($33)

(91) Wild Oak Sonoma Chardonnay 2008 (California). A delicious array of citrus, apple, honeydew melon and apricot fruit flavors immediately hit the palate on your first sip of this well-made chardonnay; rich yet elegant, this wine is well-balanced and finishes long and complex. ($20)

(91) Baus Family Vineyards Alexander Valley Private Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (California). This wine’€™s beautiful bouquet really shows the richness of Alexander Valley fruit, and barrel-aging certainly seems evident (in a good way); medium-full, round and rich, it has ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors leading off, with more classic ripe apple and pear tailing in late, making for a complex and tasty ride. ($15)

(91) Logan Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2008 (California). From Talbot Vineyards; rich & bright, subtle oak; fresh notes of ripe apple and pear that do not drag the palate down; pure clean flavors. ($19)

(91) Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2009 (Washington State). This consistently tasty chardonnay year after year is a top value; the balance of butter, tropical notes and acidity pair with a wide variety of foods and social occasions. ($12)

(91) River Road Russian River Valley Hopkins Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 (California). Wonderful harmony; crisp with a light toasty oak complements the rich peach, pineapple and apple flavors of this single vineyard. ($21)

(91) Monticello Estate Oak Knoll Chardonnay 2008 (California). Polished flavors of apples, peaches and a rich coating of oak; good structure; strong backbone of acidity that turns creamy as the toasty oak unveils itself. ($29)

(91) Tamarack Cellars Chardonnay 2009 (Washington State). Orchard fruit leaps out of the glass; on the palate, the wine has weight and luscious tropical fruit notes; the finish is long and full of butterscotch. ($19)

(90) Mount Eden Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 (California). Wonderful, ripe fruit and richness mark this chardonnay from the historic vineyard that was previously known as the Macgregor Vineyard; the wine sees 100% MLF; a combination of new and used French oak. ($20)

(90) Jip Jip Rocks Chardonnay 2010 (Australia). Light lemon-golden color with supple texture and good balance; beautiful nose of spiced pear, melon, green apple and peach; clean on the palate. ($16)

(90) Courtney Benham Edna Valley Chardonnay 2010 (California). Shows the bright acidity and minerality of the coastal region, along with ripe pineapple, key lime and vanilla; cinnamon and nutmeg spice flavors, enriched with the buttered brioche flavors of the barrels. ($18)

(90) Bridgman Chardonnay 2009 (Washington State). Flavors of brioche, vanilla and tropical fruits; sits in oak for less than four months and finishes in stainless steel. giving it a nice crispness and acidity. ($11)

(90) Decoy Sonoma County Chardonnay 2009 (California). Layers of soft butter, vanilla and oak give a great depth of richness without overwhelming the palate. ($18)

(90) Silver Palm North Coast Chardonnay 2010 (California). Brilliant, pale-straw-yellow color with the alluring scents of granny smith apples; crisp and clean with the harmonious balance of fruit and acid that make this wine a delight. ($14)

(90) Vincent Sauvestre Savigny-Les-Beaune 2009 (France). A medium-bodied, dry white Burgundy whose quality matches many more prestigious and expensive appellations; clean and complex. ($20)

(90) Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay 2009 (California). Beautifully balanced fruit and oak notes with a long complex finish; a notable value. ($16)

(90) Landing Place Sonoma Chardonnay 2009 (California). A well-made chardonnay from Rodney Strong Wine Estates; concentrated with nice round flavors of pear, apple citrus and fig; very little noticeable oak, this wine is refreshing and crisp; perfect for the summertime. ($14)

(90) Louis Latour Beaune Clos St. Desire 2009 (France). This is a classic White Burgundy that reminds one of premier cru Chassagne Montrachet; there is oak but it is perfect; crisp with a little gravel. ($30)

(90) Chateau Ste Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay 2008 (Washington State). This chardonnay exhibits aromas of apple and lemon with toast flavors on the finish; it is robust but retains a beautiful balance showing a restrained finish. ($25)

(90) Dominican Oaks Unoaked Chardonnay 2009 (California). It’€™s balanced with some mineral tartness and some light sweetness; flavors concentrate on lemon-lime and peach; light, easy to drink, delicious, and its taste is refreshingly natural. ($13)

(90) Kinneybrook Sonoma Chardonnay 2010 (California). A frame of toasty oak, with a center of pear, peach, apple and tropical flavors; good spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon; reamy and deep with a nutty complex finish. ($16)

(90) Sea Mist Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009 (California). This is not your typical fruity or buttery/oaky chardonnay; earthy aromas, mostly of green apples; balanced flavors of melon and pear; matches well with foods. ($13)

(89) Domaine du Colombier Petit Chablis 2009 (France). A nice medium-weight Petit Chablis; good fruit; a good mineral structure for the appellation; a notable value; matches well with seafood. ($18)

(89) Ferrari Carano Chardonnay 2009 (California). Juicy citrus, apple, and caramel on the nose with a baked lemon, yellow apples and hints of vanilla; clean and elegant; a pleasant surprise. ($17)

(89) Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay (2009). A classically styled California chardonnay that is produced in a very refined manner; hints of vanilla and graham cracker fill the air when first opened; deep rich and creamy on the palate yet is supported with good acidity, firm backbone and long-lasting finish. ($13)

(89) Newton Chardonnay 2009 (California). Sourced 58% from Sonoma County and 42% from Napa County; light gold in color; an aroma of citrus notes; featuring apple, pear and melon flavors; a pretty finish. ($20)

(89) Novellum Chardonnay 2009 (France). An Eric Solomon custom cuvee; lovely, rich unoaked wine that is food-friendly and lovely as a cocktail; wonderful value. ($11)

(89) Girard Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2009 (California). The bouquet is lovely and light as mild honeydew and peach aromas drift within a light oak frame; the palate is similar to the bouquet, but a squirt of citrus adds some brightness; overall, it stays soft and supple and light vanilla emerges in the finish. ($25)

(89) Liberty School Chardonnay 2008 (California). Bright tropical fruit balanced with soft butter notes and light oak make this a refreshing chardonnay; he finish is soft and relaxing; good match with fish and chicken pairings. ($14)

(89) Domaine de la Fruitiere 2007 (France). From the Loire Valley; 100 % chardonnay fruit on the nose with a crisp finish; nice summer wine. ($15)

(88) Enon Robertson Chardonnay 2010 (South Africa). The bouquet is zesty and fresh, showing off a light spice edge to its mild citrus aromas; some zestiness on the palate too, making for an almost boisterous presentation, but it evens out nicely and the citrus and tropical fruit notes gain roundness and depth. ($16)

(88) Windsor Sonoma Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009 (California). The bouquet is light, with aromas of butter and vanilla bean mingling with cream and mild citrus; medium-bodied, it builds in intensity across the palate, showing depth and softness as butterscotch tints mild tropical fruit flavors; a long finish. ($22)

(88) Coppola Diamond Series Santa Lucia Highlands Pavillon Chardonnay 2009 (California). The bouquet is slightly restrained but does have a nice array of green tree fruit aromas; medium-full and round, it has good fruit structure, with apple, pear, and light citrus marmalade flavors, and it turns softer toward the long finish. ($17)

(88) Tres Palacios Reserve Chardonnay 2010 (Maipo Valley, Chile). Medium-bodied, smooth, dry and flavorful; an excellent value for summer sipping. ($11)

(88) Susan Fields Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2008 (California). Lots of fresh fruit on the nose with a very crisp finish; light oak on the palate; good price/quality ratio. ($17)

(88) Angeline California Chardonnay 2010 (California). The wine begins with aromas of toasty oak, vanilla, ripe peach and pear; rich, ripe tropical fruit flavors are married with the toasty oak and hints of tangy citrus and lime zest. ($11)

(87) Tabali Chardonnay Reserve Especial, Limari Valley 2009 (Chile). This has a light bouquet and palate of prickly pear and honeydew, but there is more melon on the palate; bold and ripe and almost sweet, but sharp acidity moves in to brace things; moderate finish. ($12)

(86) Catena Chardonnay 2009 (Mendoza, Argentina). Light gold in color with a citrus aroma; citrus, tropical fruit and apple flavors, followed by a long finish. ($17)


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