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You've heard it before I'm sure. Anything but Chardonnay, and I mean anything. Or do I?

I don't know if you've noticed, but all the cool kids have left that club and formed a new club. You should come and join us in the Anything But (crappy) Chardonnay Club!

Wine is an art. Winemakers are the artists, growers create the paints, and history has prepared the canvasses. We have some of the finest artists working with brilliant raw materials today. Not trying these wines because of experiences in the past simply ignores the great strides producers have made not only in the cellar but also in the vineyards. Finding great vineyards then pairing them with the right clones has been a long road for California. France of course has a several hundreds of years advantage!

This past week we at Snooth took a look at a few examples of the styles now in the marketplace (you can find our complete notes here), and came up with a few recommendations for almost every palate. So join the ABcC Club and experience what Chardonnay can be in its range of expressions, then decide which one is right for you!

Napa? Sonoma? Can't decide?
We found a Great wine from each!

Duck Shack Chardonnay 2007
Combining well integrated spice tones with cool, crisp flavors of fresh summer and tropical fruits. This remains refreshing yet doesn't lack power or richness. Absolutely delicious!

Stuhlmuller Vineyards Alexander Valley Estate Chardonnay 2007
In the mouth the texture is just fantastic, bright and balanced with intense yet tense and focused mandarin orange, apricot and fig notes that are framed with just a hint of almond and measured oak notes.

Two great values from California and Washington!

Kunde Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Valley 2007
With a bright squirt of zesty acidity this remains fresh and juicy but not weighty even though the flavors are soft and subtle with a lovely creamsicle edge to the nectarine and apple fruits that pops on the delightfully sneaky finish.

Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard 2007
In a lean style, with a seductive bouquet full of butcher's wax and wildflowers, this remains really taut and focused in the mouth with intense notes of very fresh orange, peach, pear and papaya fruits that even have a suggestion of red berry!

An unusual offering from the Santa Maria Hills.

Ojai Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard 2007
The huge acidity keeps this large scaled wine remarkably focused and highlights the wonderful purity of the lemon, peach and grapefruit fruit. This retains a tightly coiled feeling and I expect this might get even better in the cellar. Not for everyone but a brilliant style of Chardonnay.

I'm sure you'll find one of these great Chardonnays is right for your palate. If not we are tasting Sauvignon Blanc this week, look for a full report coming next week, but keep in mind that California Chardonnay (and let's not ignore Washington or Oregon for that matter) has never been better.

We are entering a golden age for America's favorite variety, a time when all the elements have come together to give you, the consumer, access to an incredible range of styles made by some of the greatest winemakers of our generation. So please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and join the ABcC Club today.


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