Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

2021 Duckhorn Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is an excellent value in Napa Chardonnay and in our recent tasting, this was the groups top wine.  Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has lemon cream, some red apples and a bit of vanilla.  Full bodied.  Nice slightly oily texture.  On the palate, lemon cream with some peach and a bit of oak showing.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is nice on its own and will work well with seafood or poultry.  Drink over the next three to six years.  

2021 Venge Vineyards Chardonnay Brown Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very tight and took some time to open.  With air it shows butterscotch along with peach.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has a hint of sweetness along with peach and slight lemons.  Long finish.  This needs a bit of air at the moment so maybe hold for a year and drink for five to eight years after that.  Nice on its own, this would work well with Tuna steaks.  

2021 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$43.00USD

This is one of the best selling Chardonnays out there but does seems to be a love it or hate it wine.  Count me as a fan.  Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has peach, apple and spices.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has a bit of sweetness with tart grapefruits to balance it.  Also some oak spices come thru.  Pretty much a poster child for Napa Chard these days, but it did not seem overblown.  Better on its own, though it should work well with fried foods.  Drink over the next few years.  

2021 Quilt Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is a bit "fleshy" or sweaty socks with some grapefruit and buttered popcorn.  Medium to full bodied.  Slightly oily texture.  On the palate, this is perceptibly sweet with grapefruit notes.  Good finish.  This drinks well on its own but might be a difficult food match.  A nice choice for a summer evening on the patio.  Drink over the next few years.  

2021 Robert Foley Chardonnay Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

Yellow/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice.  Very clean without oak.  Aromas of granny smith apples, slight peaches and chalk.  Medium bodied. On the palate, this is crisp but seems to also have some sweetness to it.  A nice combination.  Apples and slight lemon candy especially on the long finish.  This is nice on its own but a bit better with some soft cheeses.  Drink over the next seven to ten years. 

2021 Girard Chardonnay, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

Yellow/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with Meyer Lemons, slight peach and just a hint of oak.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, crisp acidity with lemon candy notes.  It drinks easy but has some stuffing too.  A bit different from the "typical" Napa Chardonnay.  This is nice on its own and should be very food friendly with lighter foods but even poultry and seafoods.  Drink over the next five years.  

2021 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay Karia, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

At a recent blind tasting of Napa Chardonnay's, it turned out that there were two identical bottles submitted and served blind.  Always an interesting experiment as such factors as storage and even the tasting order can affect the results.  As it turned out, bottle #1 was the first served while bottle #2 was the last one served.  

2021 Honig Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

Hay/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has lots of gun powder/sulfur with some pineapple and baking spice.  Medium bodied.  Nice texture.  On the palate, peach and lemon cream with nice acidity.  Nice finish.  This is a bigger, rounder Sauvignon Blanc which has a lot of oak showing at this young stage.  It drinks well on its own and will work with some foods.  Pasta Primavera might be one.  The fruit will likely fade before the oak integrates, so drink up in the next few years.  

2012 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Frank Family seems to be one of those wines that people like because the owners are such good people and the wines are good as well.  While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting the owners, I do agree, the wines are very good.  A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar and spice.  Full bodied.  Tannins are mostly, not completely, resolved.  On the palate cassis, slight spice and a hint of char.  Nice finish.  An enjoyable, easy to drink wine with some stuffing.  Good finish.  Dri

2009 Orin Swift Papillon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

I get it, many people love these wines while a smaller amount love to bash them.  Personally, I enjoy them for what they are.  I like to open them when I am not looking to sit in the leather char in my imaginary study and contemplate wines place in society over the centuries.  This is a great wine to open with neighbors who may or may not be wine geeks, but do enjoy a big red.  It is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, and 2% Petit Verdot.

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