Cheers - March/April 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 55 of 59 56 • March/April 2016 (90) Domaine Talmard Macon Chardonnay, Noble Wines (France). Totally natural, this wine uses no added yeast, no MLF, and no oak. Just the natural, delicious chardonnay juice. A recoltant (grower) wine, it is actually produced in the 1,000-year-old village of Chardonnay. ($16) (90) Dutton Goldfi eld, Dutton Ranch 2013 (California). Light gold in color with an aroma of honeysuckle and assorted citrus fruits. Opens up to a pleasing mix of green apple and pear fruit. The fi nish is more intense with a combination of citrus, ginger and lemongrass. Bright and tangy. ($36.99) (90) Emily Chardonnay 2013 (California). Elegant and balanced chardonnay with fl avors of lemon zest, bartlett-pear and a hint of piecrust. Medium bodied yet rich in fl avor, the savory acidity and roundness of the fruit are very complementary. ($34) (90) First & Local Chardonnay 2014 (California). An edge of oak adds complexi- ty to the fruit fl avors of Bartlett pear, green apple and lemon zest. A well-structured mouthfeel and bright acidity are woven together in the savory fi nish. ($14) (90) J. Lohr October Night 2014 (California). Winemaker Kristen Barnhisel shows a deft touch with this wine sourced from the Block 9 planting, primarily using the Musque clone. Coupled with a regimented fermentation and barrel program, the result is a powerful, aromatic, fl oral wine of great complexity. Beautiful tropical fruit and touches of vanilla, and butterscotch. ($24.99) (90) Martin Ray Russian River Chardonnay 2014 (California). A wonderful combination of elegance and energy. The savory tenden- cy of this wine is quickly controlled by the brightness of a fruity mid-palate. A great wine with your favorite pasta. ($17.99) (90) Monticello Chardonnay Estate 2014 (Oregon). A full-bodied chardonnay whose upfront citrus and green apple notes are held together with a fi rm-structured yet subtle oak creaminess. The bold texture is complemented by a bright acidity that makes for a memorable chardonnay. ($35) (90) Schug Chardonnay Carneros Stacole (California). A classy wine: rich and powerful, yet soft and gracious at the same time. The texture is silky, with overtones of pear and citrus. A perfect match for creamy pasta and lobster. ($25) (90) Seven Rings Chardonnay 2014 (California). A bold full-bodied chardonnay with big tropical notes of pineapple, melon and a hint of guava. The oak imparts some butterscotch, but mostly supplies structure. ($19) (90) Smart Cookie Chardonnay 2013 (California). Juicy peach, pear and green apple fruits, plus vanilla, and a touch of oak, emerge from this smooth chardonnay. It fi nishes with bright, fruit-driven, savory notes, providing added nuance. ($12) (90) Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay 2013 (California). Golden color with nice clear bright legs, nose with hints of toast and apples, medium-to-semi-full mouthfeel, beautiful clean acidity balanced, elegant and creamy notes, ripe, and fi nishes long. Very generous. ($17.99-21.99) (90) Truth and Valor Chardonnay 2014 (California). Elegant and well-expressed notes of nectarine, pineapple and green apple dominate the palate and nose. Oak is evident yet conservatively used and provides more of a structure for the fruit rather than being a fl avor driver. ($19) (89) Altitude Chardonnay (Nevada). Nice light-to-medium golden color, nose with hints of tropical fruits, pineapple and perhaps a hint of mango, medium-to-light mouthfeel, nice lemony acidity but bal- anced with a touch of buttery creaminess. Somewhat long fi nish ending with a refreshing feel. ($9.99-12.99) (89) Joullian Vineyards 2013 (California). Working from parcels planted in the early '80s, winemaker Ridge Watson proudly offers his 27th release. Consistency shines from fruit sourced from some of the oldest vineyards in Monterey. Very Burgundian in style, with several yeasts used for fermen- tation, 100% barrel/malolactic program, then aged nine months on the lees. Citrus notes complement rich apple fl avors with crisp minerality. ($24.99) (89) Decoy 2014 (California). A great vin- tage year and sourcing from 14 vineyards gave winemaker Dana Eperson a rich palate to work from in creating a wine that showcases the best of Sonoma. Primarily done in stainless steel, with just a touch of oak leads to a youthful, crisp wine with pear, apple and citrus notes. ($29.99) (88) Bread and Butter, Opici Wines, (California). For all those folks who love oak and butter, here's a bargain that has all the bells and whistles for a modest price. No gold medals, but a solid palate pleaser. ($14) (88) The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2014 (California). This fun and light chardonnay offers the traditional fl avor and aromas of the classic California style while still giving a depth of fl avor that separates it out from the price point. Great entertaining wine, or the perfect patio dinner. ($13.99) (88) Indigo Eyes 2014 (California). This wine overdelivers for its modest price. Very rich, with peach tones and a hint of spice on the fi nish. Lightly scented, but not fl oral. Not sure who, what and where they're sourcing the grapes, but I hope they make more of this great value wine. ($8.99) (88) Rob Murray Vineyards Force of Nature 2013 (California). Grower Rob Murray sources from his Murmur Ranch vineyards in the Santa Maria valley, then lets winemaker Bob Henson work his mag- ic. The 50/50 oak/stainless barrel program yields clean crisp fruit, great minerality, fl oral notes and rich citrus and stone fruit fl avors. ($18.99) (86) Calera 2013 (California). Josh Jensen demonstrates his fi ne eye for sourcing fruit in this, his value offering. Nine different sites contribute to this surprisingly complex wine for the price. Fruit and oak are given a very light, balanced touch. Classic "Cali" chard. ($21.99)

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