GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Choose the Chardonnays I should taste on the daily rants this week.

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 4, 2011.

Too many choices.

Help me pick!


2010    Chardonnay        Santa Julia    Mendoza
2009    Chardonnay    Francis Coppola    Diamond Collection Gold Label    Monterey County
2009    Chardonnay    Francis Coppola    Diamond Collection - Black Label Pavilion    Santa Lucia Highlands
2009    Chardonnay    Sanford        Santa Barbara County,CA
Non-vintage    Chardonnay    Middle Sister 'Smarty Pants'        Santa Rosa, CA
2010    Chardonnay    Robert Mondavi    Private Selection    Woodbridge, California
2009    Chardonnay    Patz & Hall    Dutton Ranch    Russian River Valley, Sonoma CA
2009    Chardonnay    Patz & Hall    Sonoma Coast Chardonnay    Sonoma, CA
2006    Chardonnay    Oriel    Dylan    Russian River Valley
2008    Chardonnay    Argyle    Nuthouse Chardonnay    Willamette Valley
2010    Chardonnay    Round Hill    Round Hill Cellars    Californaia
2009    Chardonnay    Francis Coppola    Votre Sante    California
2010    Chardonnay    St. Supery    Oak Free Chardonnay    Napa Valley, California
2010    Chardonnay    Round Hill        California
2008    Chardonnay    La Fond        Santa Rita Hills- California
2006    Chardonnay    La Fond        Santa Rita Hills- California
2010    Chardonnay    Eberle    Estate Bottled    Paso Robles-California
2009    Chardonnay    Santa Barbara Winery        Santa Barbara County, California
2009    Chardonnay    Dutton-Goldfield    Dutton Ranch    Russian River Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Talbott    Kali Hart Estate Grown    Monterey County
2009    Chardonnay    Franciscan Estate        Napa Valley
2008    Chardonnay    Stag's Leap Winery        Napa Valley
2008    Chardonnay    Patz & Hall    Hudson Vineyard    Carneros
2007    Chardonnay    Robert Mondavi Winery    Reserve    Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Frank Family Vineyards        Carneros, Napa Valley
Non-vintage    Chardonnay Champagne    Korbel    Methode Champenoise    Russian River Valley, CA
2010    Oak Free Chardonnay    Round Hill        California
2009    Chardonnay    Chappellet Vineyard        Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Lange Twins    Estate Grown    Clarksburg
2008    Chardonnay    Freeman Vineyards       Ryo-fu    Russian River Valley, CA
2008    Chardonnay    Terlato Family Vineyards        Russian River Valley, CA
2009    Chardonnay    Lange Twins    Reserve    Clarksburg
2008    Chardonnay    Robert Mondavi Winery        Napa Valley
Non-vintage    Chardonnay    Kate & Cassie        Santa Rosa
2009    Chardonnay    Talbott Logan    Sleepy Hollow Vineyard     Santa Lucia Highlands
2009    Chardonnay    Y3    Jax Vineyards    Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    William Hill Estate Winery        Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Rutherford Ranch        Napa Valley
2008    Chardonnay    Franciscan Estate    Cuve Sauvage    Carneros, Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Stickybeak        Russian River Valley, CA
2009    Chardonnay    Tortoise Creek Wines    Jam's Blend    Lodi, California
2009    Chardonnay    Wente Vineyards    Riva Ranch    Monterey
2009    Chardonnay    Clos du Bois        North Coast
2009    Chardonnay    J. Lohr 'October Night'    Arroyo Seco    California
2010    Chardonnay    Robert Mondavi       Woodbridge    California
2010    Lightly Oaked Chardonnay    Robert Mondavi    Woodbridge    California
2010    Chardonnay    Lake Sonoma Winery        Sonoma County
2009    Chardonnay    Esser        Monterey
2009    Chardonnay    Wente Vineyards    Morning Fog    Livermore Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Jordan Vineyards    Russian River Valley     Russian River Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Knight's Bridge    West Block    Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    Knight's Bridge    Alder Springs Vineyard    Napa Valley
2009    Chardonnay    William James Cellars        Santa Barbara County
2008    Chardonnay    William James Cellars    Billy Jimmy...the rebel son of William James    Santa Barbara County
2010    Chardonnay    Wilson Daniels        Central Coast
2009    Chardonnay    Alma Rosa    El Jabali Vineyard    Santa Rita Hills
2009    Chardonnay    Alma Rosa        Santa Barbara County
2009    Chardonnay    Flowers        Sonoma Coast
2010    Chardonnay    Shannon Ridge    Ranch Collection    Lake County
2009    Chardonnay    Domaine Faiveley        Montagny
2009    Chardonnay    Olivier Leflaive        Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy
2009    Chardonnay    Olivier Leflaive    Les Setilles    Burgundy
2009    Chardonnay    JJ Vincent     Bourgogne Blanc    Burgundy


Reply by EMark, Oct 4, 2011.

I like to survey a range of prices.  So, I will submit these two as candidates:

-- 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection,

-- 2009 Knight's Bridge West Block

Reply by dmcker, Oct 4, 2011.

Think the Korbel nv sparkler might be good for a rant or two I could imagine. Not sure what position you plan to stake out publicly, though.

The Leflaive P-M or Les Stiles could be a useful touchstone.

The Sonoma Coast offering from Flowers yet another good starting point.

Chappellet and Freeman could be interesting to pair off against each other.

Patz& Hall's single vineyard offerings have something to say about how chard is made in CA, and also attempts to get at terroir.

And the Santa Barbara Winery's plonk speaks volumes to me about chard making down there.

But my rants might be a little different from yours.

No Kendall Jackson? Though the Wentes might be useful in a historically parallel direction.

And what about those down around $10 a bottle, whether Cycles Gladiator or McManus or Bogle or...? Talk about how change has moved them a bit away from the unctuous, oily, over-sweet, oakbombs of the recent, lamentable past?

No aged Mayacamas?  ;-)


As you say, a long list. Think editorial decisions/positions need to be clarified to help in the winnowing....

Reply by outthere, Oct 4, 2011.

Patz and Hall Sonoma Coast

Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch

+1 on the Flowers

I have a mag of 99 Mayacamas in the cellar ready to go ;-)

Reply by ScottLauraH, Oct 4, 2011.

I tasted the Flowers a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, so I vote for that.  I also vote for the Argyle Nuthouse Chardonnay.  Tried that last week and was quite impressed. 

Reply by anchca, Oct 5, 2011.

Argyle Nuthouse Chardonnay and Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch.

Being from Oregon I would have liked to see more than one selection from my state. There are some really nice Chards up here to the north of CA.

Reply by napagirl68, Oct 5, 2011.

Be curious to see what you think of the Frank Family chard.  Haven't had one in a few years...  Also curious what you think about the santa barbara chards...

I, personally, do not care for Talbott chards, but it's been a couple of years since I tasted.  One of the worst on the list, IMHO,  is actually widely distributed, and quite popular:  the Wente Riva Ranch... one of the oakiest butter bombs I've tasted, second only to (shudder) Rombauer.

Reply by dmcker, Oct 6, 2011.

So what do you want for the Mayacamas mag, outthere?  ;-)

And yeah, NG, thus my remark about the Wente options above, relative to the KJ. Certainly worthy of a rant....

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 6, 2011.

I taasted, I shuddered, I will not report any further and it will become obvious why.

Reply by dmcker, Oct 6, 2011.

In reference to? Just watched your rant a few minutes ago. Didn't catch any shuddering context.

Or did I miss something because I was doing email at the same time?  ;-)

Reply by brewinales, Oct 7, 2011.

Can someone help point me to somewhere that will help me research a very old wine? . Know that because it has evaporated down to  high shoulders that it isn't a zillion dollar bottle but would just like to know something about the winery for fun. The bottle is Cheauteu Beychevelle 1898 with a serial number 8089 and printing diagonally across the label reading "guaranteed under food and Drug act June 30, 1906."

There is an additional label reading J. Calvet&CIE, Bordeeaux France on top and Bottled by J. Calvet and cie under main label. does this mean j calvet pressed the Beychevelle product for them or blend it or something?

bottle was given to a friends grandmother as a wedding present and was stored upright in a cabinet for at least 50 years. Labels don't show any obvious aging.  thanks for the help.

Reply by zufrieden, Oct 7, 2011.

As an American, GDP, you should like choice ... not like suspect socialists (for example, Canadians, like myself). I have little sympathy with your professional predicament; rather, I have a certain jealous rage that I cannot at this time share your angst!


Reply by dmcker, Oct 7, 2011.

'Know that because it has evaporated down to  high shoulders that it isn't a zillion dollar bottle but would just like to know something about the winery for fun. The bottle is Cheauteu Beychevelle 1898 with a serial number 8089 and printing diagonally across the label reading "guaranteed under food and Drug act June 30, 1906."'

Definitely an interesting find, even if not a chardonnay. ;-)

Beychevelle was categorized as a Fourth Growth in the 1855 classification. It's located in the southern part of St. Julien, near the Gironde River. Has an attractive building, garden and story behind its label. Nowadays the wine is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Production is at a level of 25,000 cases a year. However there's no way of knowing what the blend or production level was in 1898 without some research.

I have never been a huge fan of the wine (especially its QPR) even if the label is pretty, and through the 20th century it was generally recognized as being a wine that never managed to reach its potential. It had a series of owners that didn't give it the attention it needed. However near the end of last century the French civil servants' pension fund bought the property in a couple of tranches, then sold 40% on to Suntory of Japan. This meant a different level of attention, and more money to throw into the operation, so the general consensus is that the wine's getting better, starting in the naughties (last decade).

It would be useful to see a photo of your bottle. Also to know its 'provenance'--how you acquired it and where it was before coming into your hands--particularly how it was stored. Is there any label on the bottle denoting the importer (for I'm assuming based on the FDA notification that you're in the States)?

BTW, high shoulders is not a bad level for something put into a bottle over 110 years ago, particularly if its the original cork.

Reply by outthere, Oct 17, 2011.

"So what do you want for the Mayacamas mag, outthere?  ;-)"

Come out and visit and I'll pop it open. ;-)

Reply by dmcker, Oct 17, 2011.

Will definitely take you up on that, outthere, tho no current plans to make it across the pond. Would be nice to visit some Sonoma Coast pinot noir, too, on that or another occasion...  ;-)

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