Best Chardonnay Wines Our Top List
Lovely White Burgundy
Domaine Dupre Macon Villages France 2008
“2008 Mâconnais outshine the 2007s – riper, richer, broader,” says Decanter.
Domaine Dupré is a small estate in the north of the Mâconnais, owned by brothers Jean-Christophe and Vincent Dupré. Their white Burgundies are simply stunning for the money. They aim for even higher quality than some of their neighboring estates, and they’ve wowed customers and critics alike for years.
This Mâcon Villages has been crafted in the finest French oak barrels, using a trend-setting blend of Burgundian and New World techniques. The result is a wine of classic Burgundian complexity, that still retains the wine’s fruit character (something that can be lost with wines made in more traditional styles).
Gorgeous citrus purity with nutty, complex nuances. This is a must for seafood, and it works superbly with all sorts of risotto too. laithwaiteswine.com
Glory Vintage White Burgundy
Domaine Dupre Macon Villages France 2009
“No Burgundy lover should ignore the buzz in Mâcon,” reckons top critic Andrew Jefford. Taste this mature white and you’ll understand why.
It closely resembles the Chardonnay from the famous Côte d’Or — but at a fraction of the price. From the superb 2009 vintage and acclaimed Domaine Dupré — past recipient of the exclusive Tastevineage from La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Burgundy’s top judges. Jean-Christophe Dupré goes straight to famous Burgundy cooperage Dargaud et Jaeglé for his barrels. The oak equivalent of a Rolls-Royce, they’ve been used to age some of the world’s best wines — most notably, Australia’s Grange.
Gleaming green and gold. Billowing notes of fresh citrus, peach, nectarine and butterscotch. Rich and round. At its peak now, with perfectly balanced ripe fruit and toasty oak. laithwaiteswine.com
“Legendary” Sonoma Chardonnay
Sonoma Stones Chardonnay USA 2008
When it comes to Chardonnay, there’s no place like Sonoma. From its rocky coastlines, to its thick summer fog, to its abundant sunshine, the region offers a veritable rainbow of geography and climate. Sonoma’s Chardonnays — many produced by boutique family wineries — are among the world’s best.
This excellent white comes from Sebastiani, one of Sonoma’s oldest wineries, and a winery that “epitomizes what Sonoma County is about … unpretentiously producing great wine at fair prices” (Wine Spectator). A classic example of the region’s Chardonnay (rich, ripe, full-flavored), it pays tribute to Samuele Sebastiani’s 100-year-old legacy. The story literally begins with stones — see the back label for details!
See your glass for flavors of crisp apple, pear and citrus, with touches of vanilla and toasty oak. The perfect partner for roast chicken, pork and turkey. 13% Vol. Enjoy to 2013. laithwaiteswine.com
Top Estate Chablis
Domaine Dampt Chablis Vieilles Vignes France 2009
Chablis is Chardonnay like no other: steely, crisp and very refreshing. This fine example comes from the fantastic 2009 vintage and award-winning brothers Eric, Emmanuel and Hervé Dampt. Their prized old vines (‘Vieilles Vignes’) lie alongside the Grand Cru vineyards of Les Clos and Vaudésirs — so you enjoy premium flavor at a fraction of the price. Ready to drink, worthy of cellar time too.
Bright lemon yellow with classic notes of fresh-picked apple, layered with steely mineral notes. Crisp and refreshing, full of stone and citrus fruit flavors. Will develop honeyed notes with age. laithwaiteswine.com
Decadent Russian River Chardonnay
William Knuttel RRV Chardonnay California 2009
A top release from the renowned Bill Knuttel, who spent decades building the reputations of some of California’s best boutique wineries (and finding all the premium fruit). Now, Bill’s out to make his own reputation — and with his name on the bottle, he’s even more finicky about quality.
Bill’s a big fan of white Burgundy, and it shows. Throughout the winemaking process, he does everything to maximize quality, from handpicking the Chardonnay grapes to aging the wine in fine French oak for a generous 13 months. The result: complex layers of ripe apple and pear, lemon zest, and tropical fruit. The lengthy finish is firm and silky, with a lightly creamy texture.
Taste for yourself with this superb white: a reflection of Bill’s passion for Chardonnay. laithwaiteswine.com
Gold-Medal Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Lionstone Selection J Vineyards Chardonnay California 2007
“Reminiscent of Puligny-Montrachet … flavors of nectarine, lemon-line, and a touch of tar and hazelnut.”
High praise indeed from critic Brett Anderson (likening this 2007 to one of that famously expensive white Burgundy). J Vineyards may be more famous for making some of America’s greatest sparkling wines, but here winemaker George Bursick shows he’s now slouch with still Chardonnay. This beautifully mature 2007 also won gold at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and has numerous 90+ point reviews.
Here’s California Grapevine editor Nick Ponomareff: “Attractive, floral, spicy, toasty, white peach and green apple aroma with hints of zest and honey. Buttery, tropical fruit flavors with a slightly creamy mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste. 90 Points.”
Very few cases left — order yours now laithwaiteswine.com
93-Point Grand Cru Burgundy
Dom Dupont Tisserandot Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru France 2005
Nestled in the foothills of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot has been producing premium wines for generations. Here in the Grand Cru of Charmes-Chambertin, the grapes are hand-harvested and hand-sorted, in keeping with fine Burgundy tradition. Winemaker Didier Chevillon calls his house style “profound but supple.”
The world’s leading Burgundy authority, Allen Meadows, gives Didier’s Grand Cru 93 points: “A subtly toasty yet elegant nose featuring a pretty mélange of earthy red cherry and blackberry fruit aromas. … sweet, serious and concentrated. Full-bodied flavors are underpinned by ripe tannins and a strikingly long finish that is both fresh and beautifully detailed. The wood has already been absorbed on the palate and there is a seductive sweetness to the finish. Terrific. 93 points.”
A gem from the excellent 2005 vintage. Enjoy now for its lush, youthful fruit, or allow it to age in bottle for years to come. It will be worth the wait. laithwaiteswine.com
92-Point Grand Cru White Burgundy
Domaine Vincent Girardin Bienvenue France 2005
Because this tiny Grand Cru comprises only 9 acres, securing top-vintage wines from the best producers is nearly impossible – so it helps that we’ve been working with Vincent Girardin for years.
Burghound.com’s Allen Meadows (the world’s leading authority on Burgundy) gives Vincent’s Grand Cru 92 points, saying: “Discreet wood frames honeysuckle and white flower aromas … rich, full and quite (naturally) sweet medium-bodied flavors …
classy and stylish, wrapped in a forward, accessible and round finish that offers admirable length.”
Here’s top critic Robert Parker: “This estate’s wines exhibit superb ripeness,
beautiful purity of fruit and extraordinarily well-integrated oak … I know of no other Burgundy producer who can deliver as broad a range of outstanding wines at such reasonable prices.”
Our contacts on the ground in Burgundy have secured only a few precious bottles of this Grand Cru – all the more reason to act quickly and order yours today. laithwaiteswine.com
Pioneering Boutique Chardonnay
Alta Tierra Titon Chardonnay Chile 2009
Aldo Olivier is a “pioneering maverick, single-handedly responsible for putting Elqui on Chile’s fine-wine map,” writes Peter Richards, Wines of Chile.
Aldo’s vineyards are some of the world’s highest (at 6,000 ft.), where brilliant sunshine and cool temperatures give a mountain-fresh zing to his Chardonnay. Or, as Master of Wine Rose Murray Brown put it: “A boutique operation producing wines with startling cool-climate purity.”
No stranger to high praise, Aldo’s most recent accolades include “Best in Show” titles from the Wines of Chile Awards and dozens of gold medals.
See for yourself what the buzz is all about. Crafted with premium fruit from Aldo’s special Titon Vineyard, this wine is brimming with enticing papaya and vanilla, with a round, creamy finish. laithwaiteswine.com
Expressive California Chardonnay
Sonoma Vineyards Chardonnay California 2009
Rodney Strong Vineyards is one of California’s leading solar-powered wineries — you can practically taste the sunshine in every bottle they produce. For this luscious 2009, head winemaker Greg Morthole uses fruit sourced from the premium Russian River and Alexander Valleys.
“Our wines are intended to be absolutely delicious and truly representative of Sonoma County terroir, where hills and winding valleys meet ocean breezes and create a diversity of soil and climate combinations,” says Greg.
Golden yellow with a rich, enticing aroma of stone fruits, pear and melon. Crisp apple and citrus, with creamy vanilla and toasty oak. Rich and creamy, this ‘Special Selection’ Chardonnay can easily be enjoyed on its own, though it’s also a perfect match with a variety of foods. Ideal pairings are those that mirror the wine’s opulent, full-bodied character. Delicious with rich seafood pasta, lemon chicken or soft, mild cheeses like Brie or Camembert. laithwaiteswine.com
Our ‘House’ Chardonnay
Le Chai au Quai CY White Wine France 2009
Did you know we make wine for your too? At a special riverside cellar in Bordeaux, called Le Chai au Quai. Here Tony Laithwaite’s award-winning winemaker Jean-Marc Sauboua experiments on small-production, ‘rule-breakers’ like C.Y. The name hints at the grape we’re not allowed to mention. Check out the label for the full story!
Vibrant pale gold. Ripe pears, grapefruit and citrus, framed by subtly, toasty oak. Full of lush nectarine, pear and pineapple, with refreshing acidity and a soft, creamy finish.13.5% Vol. Enjoy to 2012. laithwaiteswine.com
Best Buying Deal
Harman’s Road Chardonnay 2008 Australia
Thanks to cooling Antarctic breezes, Margaret River is the place to head for Australia’s most elegant (usually expensive!) Chardonnay. Here you’re enjoying the result of a remarkable deal with one of the region’s top estates, whose identity we agreed not to reveal, as their wines are never usually this affordable. Look for ripe tropical fruit flavors rounded off by creamy vanilla oak. A great match for creamy seafood linguine or garlic roast chicken.
Lovely gold in the glass. Ripe apple and peach aromas, with hints of fig and toasted brioche. Fine oak complements the tropical fruit flavors, with a vanilla finish. 13.5% Vol. Enjoy to 2012. laithwaiteswine.com
Top-Estate White Burgundy
Albert Bichot Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes France 2008
White Burgundy is Chardonnay at its finest (and usually, its most expensive).
Here’s a great value from the historic Maison Bichot, one of the region’s top estates, where quality is a top priority.
This delicious discovery is made from fruit grown on the legendary strip of vineyards known as the Côte d’Or, or the ‘Golden Slopes.’ Grapes cultivated here are renowned for producing superlative wines. Vieilles Vignes on the label means older vines and even richer flavor in every glass.
Speaking of flavor, you’ll enjoy layers of white fruits and sweet spices, underlined by elegant oak. We guarantee your dinner guests will be impressed. laithwaiteswine.com
Classic California Chardonnay
Raymond Family Napa Chardonnay California 2008
Made by one of Napa Valley’s oldest winemaking families, this special Reserve Chardonnay commemorates the 75th anniversary of an event many American wine lovers hold dear – the repeal of Prohibition. Its rich, balanced flavors are the perfect way to celebrate.
Enjoy juicy pear and apricot, followed by a long vanilla-spiced finish – all made smooth from light aging in fine French oak. laithwaiteswine.com
Classic Napa Chardonnay
Raymond Family Napa Chardonnay California 2009
It’s from one of Napa Valley’s oldest winemaking families, the Raymonds. Roy Raymond worked the first post-prohibition vintage in 1933 and married into the Beringer family in 1936. After honing his skills at their famous winery for the next 35 years, he founded his own namesake estate in 1974. Today, great-grandson Craig is at the helm, continuing the Raymond family legacy of excellent small-production wines.
This follow-up to the estate’s special Reserve Chardonnay (commemorating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition) is a just as memorable: Enticing aromas of honeysuckle and orange blossom introduce crisp pear, apple and lemon flavors. The finish is smooth and vanilla-rich. Makes a very enjoyable glass on its own or an ideal pairing with rich vegetarian, chicken and seafood dishes laithwaiteswine.com
Zesty Burgundian-Style White
Baileyana Cuvee du Clos Chardonnay California 2009
Chardonnay is the storied grape of Burgundy, where a “clos” is a special walled vineyard. Made in white Burgundy style, this Cuvée du Clos actually comes from California — and offers serious quality advantages. First, the Niven family’s Firepeak vineyard is the cool-climate spot to grow Chardonnay in the Edna Valley. Second, Christian Roguenant — their Burgundy-born, Champagne-trained winemaker is considered a master of whites. Our small supplies won’t last forever, so don’t wait to order this one.
Bright gold in the glass. On the nose, ripe peach, apricot and pear, with lovely mineral
notes. Flavors of tropical fruit, lifted by zesty lemon and framed with lightly spicy
vanilla oak. laithwaiteswine.com