StateWays - March/April 2016

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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45 StateWays ■ ■ March/April 2016 palate on the way to a long, satisfying fi nish. The epitome of balance and el- egance, no Chardonnay you try will be able to match. ($89.99) (97) Davis Bynum River West Vineyard 2013 (Russian River Valley, CA). Single vine- yard. French oak barrel-fermentation and aging. 100% malolactic fermenta- tion. Aged sur lie. The result? Rich, buttery, toasty, classic Russian River Chardonnay! A bouquet of baked fruits Five Stars (98) J.Lohr Vineyards and Wines J.Lohr Arroyo Vista 2014 (Monterey, CA). Winemaker Kristen Barnhisel contin- ues the fi ne-tuning on Lohr's ultimate version of the great white Burgundys of France. Classic techniques abound, from early-morning handpicking/sort- ing and stirring of the lees to extended barrel aging (14 months). Great mouth feel, very viscous, rich fl avors, and a long, lingering fi nish. A true Monterey classic that should have the French looking over their shoulders. ($29.99) (98) Evening Land Seven Springs Vine- yard Summum Chardonnay 2013 (Wil- lamette Valley, OR). As far as I am concerned, this is the best white wine made in America. Their efforts to cre- ate a Grand Cru the likes of white Bur- gundy have been realized. The most precise American Chardonnay I have ever tasted, this wine dances on the and spices leads to a creamy texture that coats the palate with fl avors of apple, pear and apricot, with a hint of vanilla/butter- scotch. There is still a crisp acidity on the fi nish that adds great length. ($25) (95) Beaucanon Estate 2012 (Napa Val- ley). This lovely Chardonnay defi nitely has a French fl air. The grapes are 100% organic. Understated tropical fruit aro- mas and fl avors with slightly toasted oak undertones. A rich, honey-like tex- ture. The balance of fruit, oak and acid- ity is perfect. A lovely hint of minerality lingers on the fi nish. All components harmonize and gently coat the palate and stay. It is reminiscent of a good Meursault in style. The 2012 vintage is now peaking beautifully. Ideal for sea- food. ($25) (95) Heron 2013 (California). The owner, Laely Heron, is an innovator. She contracts with growers from pre- mier California AVAs for her wines. The grapes are sourced from Russian River Valley, Carneros and Santa Maria Valley from 22-25-year-old vines. She incorporates whole-cluster pressing with barrel aging of up to fi ve months with no malolactic fermentation. The wine is lively and refreshing with lush fl avors of peach, mango and citrus. It's long, crisp and zesty on the fi nish with lip-smacking acidity: an ideal aperitif, or will pair beautifully with milder Ori- ental cuisine. ($15) (95) Saracina 2014 (Mendocino County, CA). This is an interesting blend of 96% Chardonnay and 4% Viognier Rating System ★★★★★ Five Stars (92-100) A top-fl ight wine. Superior in taste and character and providing an out- standing price/value relationship. ★★★★ Four Stars (86-91) A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back. (97) Duckhorn Vineyards 2013. (Napa, CA). This, only their sec- ond release for a Chardonnay, confi rms that Duckhorn and Renee Ary are on the right path. Rich, vibrant fruit highlights the best fruit sourced from 11 prime valley sites. Peach and melon notes balance the touches of citrus fruits. Very de- tailed barrel fermentation program includes hand stirring of the lees. ($39.99) Retailer Wine Selections ★★CHARDONNAYS★★★ StateWays' sister publication Beverage Dynamics publishes a list of wine recommendations, called Retailer Wine Selections, in every issue based upon written evaluations by its National Retailer Wine Panel. Each review includes brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine's retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). The following is a sampling of top CHARDONNAYS chosen by the National Retailer Wine Panel from its latest issue. If you're a control state offi cial who specializes in wine and you'd like to be a member of the new StateWays wine panel, please email associate editor Kyle Swartz at

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