Wine Spectator | Rating: 90Alluring honey, beeswax and ripe fig aromas give this the appearance of a much richer wine. On the palate the flavors are vibrant and more streamlined, ending with a mix of citrus, green apple and butterscotch flavors, long and lingering.Author: James Laube
Vinous | Rating: 94It is amazing to witness just how much freshness and vibrancy the 2010 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard has acquired over the last year. Bright, floral, mineral-infused notes have developed, adding considerable nuance and understated finesse to layers of deeply expressive, exotic fruit. This is a fabulous showing from Rhys.Author: Antonio Galloni
Wine Advocate | Rating: 92The 2010 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard comes across as surprisingly tropical for Rhys. Pineapple, passion fruit, mint, flowers and honey wrap around the palate in this juicy, expressive Chardonnay. Mineral notes appear later to frame the finish. The 2010 harvest produced the lowest alcohols yet for Chardonnay at Rhys. I also tasted the 2007, which was never commercially released. That wine has acquired quite a bit of complexity, with notes of smokiness and graphite that round out the fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.Author: Antonio Galloni
California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like , , , and in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. and continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.
Chardonnay is a versatile variety that can grow in a wide range of climates, and its neutral flavor profile offers a blank canvas for winemakers to impart their style. In cool climates, Chardonnay displays flavors of green fruit and citrus. As the climate becomes more moderate, flavors of white peach and melon develop. In warm and hot climates, aromas of banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruit are common.
The best Old-World Chardonnay comes from , where it is uniquely reflective of terroir and can express many different flavor profiles even within this relatively small region. In , the northernmost part of Burgundy, wines are often unoaked and known for their minerality, high acidity, and aromas of green apple, citrus, wet stone, and slate. In the , further south, wines are typically aged in neutral French oak and have flavors of stone fruit, toast, almond, and cream. Burgundian producers pioneered the techniques that are now associated with high-quality Chardonnay around the world, including barrel fermentation, barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and maturation on lees. The best wines, from producers like , , and , can age in the bottle for a decade or more, developing complex aromas of nuts and mushroom.
New-World Chardonnay tends to grow in warmer climates than in the Old World, producing wines that are full-bodied, high in alcohol, and low in acidity. Use of American oak imparts flavors of vanilla, clove, hazelnut, butter, and caramel on top of peach and banana fruit. Look to producers in and , including , , and , for the highest-quality versions of this New-World style.
Chardonnay’s versatility makes it a great option for pairing. High-acid wines from Chablis are the perfect accompaniment to oysters or clams, while oak-forward Napa wines are the best match for buttery lobster. Halibut, cod, and chicken breast are classic pairings with white Burgundy.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 169 bottles owned
- 39 collectors