Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Chardonnay $15 to $25 tasted 3/14

1. Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay (2011)

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Previously available for $12.99
Buttery , creamy and vanilla laced on the nose this shows a fine, elegant sense of restraint with lemon and green apple fruit. Delicate and fresh on entry, there great freshness of flavors here paired with a rich rich and creamy leesy quality. Lemon pith, kiwifruit, and green apple flavors come together with very well judged oak that adds a bit of firmness to his lean, very well defined mouthful of wine. This doesn’t have tremendous depth or persistence to the fruit for that matter, though it does finish with a fine mineral note that freshens the palate but this does deliver a fairly zesty flavor profile with lingering acids in the mouth and an absolutely classic textural contrast of lean fruit and creaminess from it’s time in barrel. 91pts
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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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