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SP88Wine Spectator Web only – 2015
"Intense and raw in texture, with a mix of pithy citrus, grapefruit, green apple and tart peach flavors. More awkward than polished now, so give this some time. Drink now through 2020. 395 cases made." (88 pts.)
When it comes to US wine production, California is King. California wines account for almost 90% of all wines produced in the United States each year, and is home to the most celebrated vineyards and producers in the country. California is probably best known for its world-famous Cabernets and Chardonnays, many of which hail from its two most-acclaimed AVAs, Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Other prominent grapes used in California wines include Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel (which California made popular).
The United States now ranks fourth in the world in wine production behind, France, Italy, and Spain. While about 90% of that wine is produced in California, other states like Oregon, New York, and Washington are establishing themselves as prime spots for wine production, as well. Just about any variety of wine can be found in production somewhere in the United States.
WS9494 pts. - Wine & Spirits - 10/21 When Mike Grgich made the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay—the white wine that won the Paris Tasting—he used fruit from the Bacigalupi Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. He soon moved into a partnership with Austin Hills, assembling an organically farmed estate that includes 88 acres in Carneros and 163 in American Canyon, the cool, southern districts of the Napa Valley where this chardonnay grows. Now, at 98, Grgich leaves winegrowing to his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, who produced this complex and compelling wine. Put aside any preconceptions you might have about contemporary Napa Valley chardonnay; consider instead an agriculture that might include native corn (one taster cited the ethereal sweetness of nixtamalized corn) and stone-fruit orchards (a scent of apricots). There’s the smokiness of ancho chile and a scent of woodland mushrooms in the wine’s dark-toned leesiness. Then the layers of flavor last, harmonious and delicious.JS9191 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, November 4, 2021 Mangoes, papayas, cooked lemons, ripe melons, gun smoke and salted caramel on the nose. Full-bodied, ripe and rich yet bright. Smoky, toasty notes to close. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.
VN9393 pts. - Vinous - May 2017 Bright medium yellow. Ripe, sexy scents of stone and citrus fruits, clove, nutmeg, butterscotch and minerals. Then wonderfully intense but a bit youthfully closed in on itself, with its very fresh fruit flavors firmed by penetrating acidity and underlying salty minerality. Savory, extract-rich and light on its feet, with a very long, building, slightly phenolic finish calling for a year or two of patience. At once elegant and solid, this Chardonnay has the inner-mouth tension to uncoil slowly and should age very well. Held up very well in the recorked bottle, maintaining its energy and tight-grained texture and showing riper soft citrus flavors.RP9292 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 28th Apr 2017 The 2015 Family Vineyards Chardonnay comes from iron-rich clayey soils populated by 12 to 15-year-old vines, aged in barriques with 25% new oak. It has a more extroverted bouquet compared to the Southend Chardonnay, with hints of melted butter infusing the citrus fruit, also with peach skin and sea spray aromas. The palate is very well balanced with a smooth entry. There are veins of tropical fruit such as guava and melon, a fine line of acidity and a very seductive and composed finish. This is a very worthy follow-up to the excellent 2014 and comes highly recommended.