"Our Super Chardonnays

  by Fred McMillin


"Few would have believed in 1980, when California had just 18,000 acres of Chardonnay, that eight years later the state's total would overtake the French total."

...Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, Guide to Wine Grapes

The Rest of the Story

Today that 18,000 acres has grown to 87,000, making Chardonnay by far the most widely planted wine grape in the Golden State. (E.g., there's only about half as much Cabernet Sauvignon.) Which Chardonnays are best? We checked our blind tasting results for the last five years and found seven superb bottles, including one beautiful import.

Our Super Seven

7th - Byron Reserve, Santa Maria Valley, '90, $18
6th - David Bruce Reserve, '91, $30
5th - La Crema Reserve, '92, $20
4th - Robert Mondavi Reserve, Napa Valley, '92, $27.50
3rd  -  Rosemount "Roxburgh," Hunter Vly., Australia, '95, $35
2nd  -  Jarvis, Napa Valley, '95, $36
Winner - Cambria Reserve, Santa Maria Valley, '92, $25

Since the average price of these gems was $27, we also searched for the best Chardonnays under $15, and here they are.

4th - Camelot, '93, $8
3rd  -  Jolisse, '94, $7
2nd  -  Lockwood, '94, $14
Winner - Louis Martini, '94, $10.50


For more on some of these wines and/or wineries, see these WineDays:


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