Wine Enthusiast’s: Sonoma is ‘Expanding the Definition’ of Great Chardonnay

Wine Enthusiast’s: Sonoma is ‘Expanding the Definition’ of Great Chardonnay

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Wine Enthusiast' Virginie Boone

March 16, 2021

California Chardonnay is in a good place right now. It has burst forth from a long, controversial period where it was cocooned in a reputation of buttery vapor or worse. During those dark days of derision, not everyone abandoned hope, however. Least of all those producers who are really good at working with the grape. Their tenacity is a gift. Beauty cannot forever be denied, and now, California Chardonnay, specifically from Sonoma, is finally having its moment.

 

Three Sticks 2018 Origin Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast); $55, 95 points. Tones of crushed salt, oak, lemon zest and crème brûlée blend in this beautifully made wine. From the producer’s own Durell Vineyard, this white is fermented in concrete egg, amphora and stainless steel, aged on its lees to maximize creaminess and texture. The power is there, yet it is elegant and balanced.

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