Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wine & Spirits Best Chardonnays: Organically Grown Among Them

"Chamomile and pear": Ceritas' 2010 Sonoma Coast Porter-Bass Vineyard Chardonnay ($52) topped the organically grown Chards, rating at the same level as Au Bon Climat's 2010 Santa Maria Valley Nuits-Blanches au Bouge, master Chardonnay vintner Jim Clenenden's 30th Anniversary bottling (not organic).

I can't imagine a vineyard more beautiful than Porter-Bass. Ceritas is one of the boutique star wineries, its wines selling only by allocation (or in restaurants). It specializes in single vineyard Burgundian wines, rating high marks from an inner circle of the winerati.

"Distinctive": Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay ($42), a blend of grapes from American Canyon and the winery's top quality Carneros vineyard (both biodynamic), the 2009 vintage garnered 91 points in the article. (Personally I prefer their more expensive Chardonnay, solely from the Carneros vineyard, and don't know why it wasn't included. It lists for $75).

"Perfectly poised": Bethel Heights had two Chardonnays on the list - its unoaked 2010 Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay ($18) was rated at 93 points and designated a Best Buy. (I'll take a 93 point, $18 wine any day!) Its 2010 Estate Grown Chardonnay ranked 90 points, selling for $25, another Best Buy.

"Lavish": Bergstrom's 2010 Sigrid Chardonnay ($80) weighed in at 92 points - as usual one of the most expensive bottles on the Chardonnay list.

"Restrained": At 88 points, Matthiason's Napa Valley Linda Vista Vineyard (I believe this is organic) ($25) at a very respectable price point was also listed as a Best Buy.

I look forward to tasting the Best Buy wines on this list and adding them to my new wine app (almost done).

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