Sonoma Chardonnay

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Top Sonoma Chardonnay Slideshow

2009 Migration Russian River Valley 14.1% $30
Very nice on the nose with lemon curd, pineapple and toasted almond notes. Bright and elegant in the mouth with rather focused citrusy flavors and a touch of sweet pear. There’s a creamy edge to the mid-palate and nice aromatic tones on the back end that will make this quite popular. The finish is long and focused with a nice blending of wood spice and fresh fruit. Nicely lighter bodied with rich yet pure flavors. 90pts

2009 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill 13.5%
Walnut cream, sweet toasty oak, apple blossom, peach skin and green apple greet the nose. This is super bright on entry and really clear on the palate. There’s lovely depth to the tart fruit accented with flecks of minerality and very complex spice notes that are well integrated. The finish is clean and minerally with a very restrained heirloom apple note that slowly drifts away. This really is wonderfully balanced and while air does lend it some added heft, it remained fairly elegant and brightly fruited. 89pts

2008 DuNah Sonoma Coast Tre Cuvee 14.2%
This is quite aromatic and decidedly peachy with plenty of licorice, vanilla and ginger spice accents, but no major toasty oak notes on the nose. Fairly rich up front, the oak does pop out quite obviously on the palate with a distinct top layer of toasty oak over rich, creamy, yet bright, fruit. There’s still a decidedly peachy tone to the fruit on the palate but the acidity adds a bright green apple edge and a sharp cut of mineral emerges on the back end and adds some detail to the brief finish. Lots to like here, but it’s a touch clumsy and short at this point. 89pts

2009 Roth Estate Sonoma Coast 14.5% $12
Fairly oaky on the nose. Not terribly aggressive but noticeably cedary and with the sweetness of dried meats. Not a lot of fruit on the nose. On the palate this shows a different side of itself. The acidity is vibrant and well proportioned; the fruit is bright and vivid with pineapple, honey and a little quince note. The texture is a combination of cream and steel that drives through the moderately long finish, which is fairly spicy and reveals a hint of heat. Not your usual California Chardonnay, this delivers a lot of cut with its weight, but at the same time there’s a lot of typical oak and fruit flavor here as well. 89pts

2009 Schug Sonoma Coast 13.5% $20
This is nicely perfumed with a nice hint of fig on the nose then more precise yellow fruit tones topped with a fine note of oak. This comes on strongly up front with a wood-sweetened leading edge that is fresh and round. This offers really nice supporting acid that helps to refresh the palate. There’s a faint spicy tone that accents the fruit and good clarity on the palate. This really is quite vibrant and fresh, falling a touch short on the moderate finish that shows a touch of wood tannin and a little coarse edge, but that’s nothing a few months in the cellar can’t cure. 88pts

2009 Foppiano Russian River Valley Estate Bottled 14.5% $20
This is fairly intense on the nose, slightly waxy with almond, vanilla, grilled pineapple, pear and honeydew melon aromas. After the nose the initial impression in the mouth is less than expected, but that is really just fine. The fruit turns more citrusy on the palate with a green edge that recalls the honeydew on the nose. The acidity is bright but integrated, lending freshness to a soft but compact mouthfeel.  This is fairly fruity but very nicely done. 88pts

2009 Rodney Strong Sonoma County 13.5% $12
Fairly intensely aromatic with appley fruit, licorice and vanilla cream overtones.  Quite bright on entry – in fact, this is downright vivid in the mouth with electric acidity. The fruit is well-balanced, apple and light pineapple overtones with a touch of that creaminess found on the nose and just a hint of wood spice on the backend.  A moderately big wine with well-judged oak that becomes marginally more obvious on the fairly long finish. This is a bit rambunctious, but delivers a lot. 87pts

2009 Stickybeak Russian River Valley 14.5% $15
This smells of crème caramel, gingery pineapple crème caramel. Soft on entry but fairly well balanced, this nonetheless sits very low in the mouth without much intensity or complexity. The orchard fruit is slightly heavy and slightly dull with a nice mineral tone on the back end that turns out to be distracting rather than refreshing. The finish is clean and a little spicy with licorice nuances and a light butterscotch element. 84pts

2010 Valley of the Moon Sonoma Coast 13.5% $12
This is noticeably oaky and slightly meaty on the nose with background notes of apricot accenting the core of sweet, slightly candied tropical and citrus fruits. A touch fruity up front then turning nicely focused on the palate with acid and wood that are a touch disjointed. The oak really tends to cover the back end and while the wine feels fresh, the flavors are quite ripe and caramelly. The acidity sticks out on the back end as well with that same weird caramel/harsh acid interplay. 83pts

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  • Snooth User: Al Faison
    196612 155

    Is anyone else as irritated with the Twitter and Facebook strip that is now being superimposed over the daily Snooth articles? If so, please join me in asking that it either be removed entirely, or post some directions for me to remove it each day as I am unwilling to scroll around it to read the articles. I need to be able to remove this aggravating item or just unsubscribe entirely, which after a couple of years of beeing a Snooth fan, would be a great loss to me! Please help!

    Jul 07, 2011 at 12:24 PM

  • I am with you on that one, Al. It makes my page jump around as it is loading as well; very annoying. I understand the need to stay "cconnected" but there should be a friendlier way to do it.
    On the subject of Sonoma Chard I'm just glad they left out the Lambert Bridge...leaves more for us!!

    Jul 07, 2011 at 5:30 PM

  • Snooth User: whauptman
    864967 2

    I am sure these are great choices, but for someone living in Europe as I do, none of these are available here to taste or even buy. The Sonoma Chards I tasted in California were in fact great, but wholly geared, I thought, to New World tastes. There are many Old World Chard styles that are comparable--not in Burgundy--but in the Midi. I wonder if you get those in America.

    Jul 08, 2011 at 6:57 AM

  • Why does Snooth hate Chardonnays so? I find many good Chards at well under the price of $40; and personally, I like some of the oakier ones. I just don't understand the down the nose attitude. While primarily a red blend drinker upper, I thoroughly enjoy a glass or two of good burgundian white style wines to begin an evening. So please, dear Snoothest, drink what you prefer, and leave chards alone if you choose, but don't make a wine you don't like sound like a pariah. My girlfriend is really ticked because she lives for Chard. And while I too really enjoy Snooth, the Tweeter and in your Facebook issue: I agree with the above comments. Thanks, Cheers

    Jul 09, 2011 at 5:38 PM

  • Write your comment here.

    Jul 09, 2011 at 5:38 PM

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