The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

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july 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  89 Noble Vines 2016 446 Chardonnay, San Bernabe Vineyard, Monterey County ($13) Light and delicate scents of bright lemon- lime give way to a palate of white peach, pineapple, and crisp apple. Savory tones of basil and a coconut roundness are seared by a lean acidity. From the San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey's "sweet spot"—with its warm days and cool nights—this is an expressive, modern white wine. 93 DELICATO FAMILY VINEYARDS Estancia Vineyards Chardonnay, Monterey County ($12) From the Pinnacles Vineyard on the east side of the Salinas Valley, this is a creamy, dreamy white. Orange peel and apple aromas linger alongside flavors of honeyed peach and pineapple. The flavors are vibrant, as is the lovely acidity, and the finish is luscious with banana cream pie and baking spices. 93 CONSTELLATION BRANDS Doña Paula 2017 Los Cardos Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina ($14) The striking nose consists of pineapple, lemon spice, and chamomile. The acid is tense while the fruit is opulent: a sensational com- bination. Complex notes of tarragon and heather mingle between citrus and white peach. 93 TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES Matchbook 2016 Old Head Chardonnay, Dunnigan Hills ($15) Aged six months in previously used barrels, this golden straw– colored wine carries a toasted aroma with a smooth, buttery mouthfeel full of creamy fruit, almond paste, and melon preceding a long finish with a bit of minerality. 92 Van Ruiten Family Winery 2016 Chardonnay, Lodi ($14) There's a touch of Old World acidity and flavor in this citrus- kissed white. On the nose, complex, earthy notes meld with lemon blossom as the palate gears into a leaner mode with grapefruit, apple cinnamon, and a vanilla-oak finish. 92 Heavyweight 2016 Chardonnay, California ($13) A fragrant jasmine nose opens up to a smooth, rich mouthfeel and lemon meringue that warms the palate, ending with a touch of oak. 91 SCOTTO CELLARS River Road 2017 Un-Oaked Chardonnay, California ($13) This young 100-percent- stainless Chard carries a zesty citrus aroma and pale green hue. Fresh and crisp, it exhibits a slight sweetness, light body, and green apple flavor: a good option for those who shy away from buttery, oaky Chardonnays. 90 Black Cabra 2016 Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina ($10) From the Argentine Andes, this primarily stainless-steel-tank-fermented white features sensuous aromas of gardenia and sugared pineapple. Delicate and zippy, it offers a bright freshness that caught our attention. 89 VINO DEL SOL J. Street Wines 2016 XIX Chardonnay, California ($16) With an inspired label created by in-house artists, this small-lot Chardonnay offers up caramel-coated peaches on the nose. Bright acidity, savory herbs, and spices lead to a delicious mid-palate for mango and papaya fans. The long finish brings it all together. 92

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