Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Chardonnay $15 to $25 tasted 3/14

2. Franciscan Estate Chardonnay (2012)

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Previously available for $17.99
Focused if a bit oaky on the nose, this slowly reveals taut apple fruit, hints of wood smoke and spice and some peachy accents. A bit creamy at first but really quit focused in the mouth. this really snaps together quite nicely with apple fruit and vanilla and toasty oak spice integrating well. It’s a bit of a firm style for the price point, carrying its oak well and showing finely restrained fruit. That peachy nuance appears again on the backend with a hint of pollen and a glint of mineral river stone. Showing a bit of toasty almond on the palate and through the relatively long finish this is a classic California Chardonnay and a fabulous value. 90pts
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  • 99530TandKChilds You should try the Naked Chardonnay from Four Vines, it is excellent

  • 1135991Randi442 You have to go to the winery or join their wine club to buy it, but there is a reason Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Ranches has been the #1 selling restaurant Chardonnay for about the last 20 years! The winery couldn't meet the restaurant demand and also assure a reasonable retail distribution, so they created another Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) for retail distribution. Personally, I like the Russian River Ranches much better (a little more oak, a little more creamy), but the Sonoma Coast is still a nice wine. Just under the $20 price point unless you can find it on sale, but it is consistently good and worth a try,

  • 1480272vjg6014 Anyone who drinks California Chardonnay,has no idea what Chardonnay is or should be.Crap,I'm being kind.If you want to know what Chardonnay should be,then my advice is drink White Burgundy.Basically California wines are half as good and cost twice as much.Travesty.

  • 966308csue66 Castlerock is good for the price.

  • 1480272vjg6014 Chardonnay should never be "buttery",what you're tasting is the toasted oak.Why on Earth would I want to taste wood?White Burgundies have balance,between fruit,acidity,minerality.

  • 1135991Randi442 To vjg6014 - you are certainly entitled to your opinion (but so am I). The extreme intensity of your response to my original post is really not necessary... We can all enjoy wine, our palates may be different, but I would never be so negative towards another reviewer. (Perhaps you have a personal reason to gain by "pushing" white burgundies? Like you are an importer?) Otherwise, please let's all live and let live - you can express your opinion without denigrating others who don't share it. If you don't like California Chardonnay, don't drink it! (And, for what it's worth, with certain foods I actually prefer white burgundies - but I can enjoy both.)

  • 89065Gregory Dal Piaz Randi, you're absolutely right. Anyone who dismisses an entire class of wines obviously has no interest in taking them seriously. I prefer white Burgundy as well, but at this price point they are a challenge as well, and they are not to everyone's palate. There's enough space for us all to have fun here, and fun it should remain. It's only wine after all.

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