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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Page 45 of 51

StateWays ■ ■ March/April 2016 46 from organic grapes, unoaked. The small percentage of Viognier is notice- able, lending a bit of mouthfeel to the wine. Aromas and fl avors of ripe apple, pear and other fruits. There are hints of lemon/orange on the fi nish, with a hint of spiciness despite the lack of oak aging. This is an intriguing, unusual and delicious style of Chardonnay that will pair well with a cornucopia of cui- sine. ($20) (95) Mt. Beautiful 2014 (North Can- terbury, New Zealand). This will draw attention to the lovely Chardonnays produced in New Zealand that haven't received accolades they deserve. From certifi ed-sustainable vineyards, this is a rather New World/Old World style. It has nuances of wildfl owers, mineral and under-ripe fruit on the nose. These nu- ances continue on the palate, but then fruit fl avors become lush and mouth fi lling. The fi nish is long and lively with racy sweet/tart acidity and a hint of lemon/grapefruit. Pair this with pork or fowl with a fruit glaze, or enjoy it as an aperitif. ($19) (94) Evening Land Seven Springs Char- donnay 2013 (Willamette Valley, OR). A more affordable offering from one of the U.S's best producers. Eleven months of French Oak-aging is hard to comprehend when tasting how bal- anced this wine is. Classic fruit fl avors of apple, pear and tropical fruits high- light this Burgundian style. The only way to top this is to jump up to their highest end offering of the single block "Summum" Chardonnay. This wine is much more readily available and will turn into the everyday Chardonnay of whoever takes the leap. ($45.99) (94) Goldschmidt Singing Tree Russian River Chardonnay 2014 (California). This is an absolutely gorgeous Chardonnay from start to fi nish. The subtle buttery notes are quickly complimented with soft tropical fruit and hints of Granny Smith apple, and all is surrounded by perfectly balanced acidity. ($17.99) (94) Maison Ambroise 2014 (Bourgogne Aligoté, France). A great entry into the world of Burgundy's white wines. Crisp, apple and lemon fruit with a lean, light mouthfeel. Balanced and fi rm on the fi nish, with lively acidity underneath. ($13.99) (93) Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2012 (Marl- bourough, New Zealand). New Zea- land is not always the fi rst place you think of when someone says "great Chardonnay," but with wines like the 2012 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, it should be in the conversation. Intensely fruity, showing more citrus than most Chardonnay, Cloudy Bay makes a well- balanced, Chardonnay-lovers dream at a value that is hard to match. One of the world's premier Sauvignon Blanc producers is throwing its name in the hat for Chardonnay of the highest qual- ity — and is on point. ($35.99) (93) Matthiasson, Linda Vista Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 (Napa, CA). Killer Cali chard with a Burgundian tempera- ment. Incredible balance is this wine's hallmark. Fresh pear, yellow apple and almond paste are all present with great depth. Vibrant acidy provides the frame- work for the pure fruit and mineral ex- pressions. ($27.49) (93) Miner Family Winery 2011 (Napa Valley, CA). From their Chardonnay se- ries, this is the "wild yeast offering." The Miner family sources from three of the top Napa sites, and then utilizes native yeasts. For the fermentation process, 16 months in oak with 100% malolactic and barrel fermentation yield a rich, opulent wine, ripe with tropical fruit notes. This one can only improve with light cellar- ing, if you're patient enough. ($54.99) (92) Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 (South Australia). A good wine at a good price. The non-toasty fl avor profi le is refreshingly crisp, speckled with peach and pineapple notes throughout. A zippy fi nish with sleek texture. ($10.99) (92) Jean-Marc Brocard Sainte Claire 2014 (Chablis, France). This wine be- gins with a fl inty aroma that leads the way into pure green apples and lemons on the palate. The mid-palate has fi ne richness that fi nishes with vibrant acid- ity. Drink this now; great when paired with seafood or a white sauce pasta dish. ($22.99) (92) Flora Springs Chardonnay Barrel Fer- mented 2013 (Napa Valley, CA). Bright, crisp aromas and fl avors of pear and golden delicious apples, balanced beau- tifully by toasty oak and crisp acidity. The fi nish is long and refreshing. ($35) (92) Maison Roche de Bellene 2011, (Bourgogne Blanc, Vieilles Vignes, France). As good as it gets for white Burgundy anywhere close to this price point. A high-energy Chard that ex- hibits Meyer lemon, tart apple, allspice and honeysuckle. Nervy and persistent acidity keep the fl avors nicely focused. ($21.49) (92) Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardon- nay (Roussilon, France). The best value in Chardonnay you can fi nd. Aging on Viognier lees gives this wine body with- out the use of oak, so it meets the well- balanced look that touches every side of Chardonnay drinkers. It is near impossi- ble to fi nd value in Chardonnay that is not one-noted, and Novellum Chardonnay's complex fruit and mineral tinged fl avors keep it away from that. To boot, you are drinking Chardonnay from Roussillon, France, which is an anomaly in its own right. This wine delivers each vintage and the 2014 is no slouch. ($12.99) Four Stars (91) Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Chardon- nay (Sonoma Coast, California). An- other reputable producer heads out to the Sonoma Coast — but Sean Minor is making their Chardonnay at a price (94) Migration 2013 (Russian River, CA). Only their fi fth release, winemaker Bo Felton is hitting his stride as Duckhorn expands from their Napa base and utilizes 14 of the best vineyard sites in the cool- climate Russian River. Rich layers of complex tropical fruit on the nose lead to a rich balanced mouth feel, with rich vanilla and butter- scotch on the fi nish. ($34.99)

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