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May 1, 2013
From: Central Coast, Calif. Price: $15 Serve with: Salmon, poultry This well-made chardonnay is widely distributed, fairly priced and avoids all the pitfalls California chardonnay so often falls into. It's crisp, clean and has good, bracing acidity - a sign of its cool-climate origins. There's a touch of vanilla from the oak, but it isn't over the top. It offers bold, assertive fruit with hints of pear, baked apple, lemon and spices. Chardonnay is far from my favorite white varietal, but sometimes you come cross one that hits just the right note.
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May 20, 2014
From: California Price: $10 Serve with: Salmon, ham, fried chicken This popularly priced chardonnay is part of a new label launched by the Delicato wine group. This chardonnay should be a winner, and that's coming from someone who normally isn't blown away by California chardonnays. This medium-bodied white wine is just very well-balanced, with exactly the right proportions of oak and fruit. It's not ultra-complex. There are the standard chardonnay flavors of apple, lemon and white pepper.
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NEWS
By Lauren Chapin and Lauren Chapin,Knight Ridder/Tribune | October 2, 2002
When it comes to teaching compatible food-and-wine pairings, John Ash has a kindergarten teacher's passion for the subject. Ash's 20-plus-year career has included John Ash & Co., a successful Santa Rosa, Calif., restaurant, two cookbooks (one of which won a Julia Child Award for Best American Cookbook), numerous articles in national food magazines, a live radio show and teaching, teaching, teaching - from the Disney Institute in Orlando to the Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, Calif.
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March 19, 2014
From: Cotes de Gascogne, France Price: $13 Serve with: Bouillabaisse, spicy Asian cuisine This artful blend of 75 percent chenin blanc and 25 percent chardonnay combines the fruit of the former and body of the latter in a fresh, dry white wine. It offers refreshing, lively flavors of lime, pear, apple and minerals. An excellent choice as we move into spring and outdoors quaffing. From Robert Kacher Selections. -- Michael Dresser , The Baltimore Sun
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | February 19, 2003
2001 Franciscan Oakville Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($17). This well-made chardonnay offers lively flavors of green apples, white pepper and lemons -- and even a suggestion of lime oil. In many ways, it's a standard California chardonnay but rendered with more vibrancy and finesse than is common for wines in this price class. The oak is well-integrated and not at all dominant. It should go well with most chicken, ham and salmon dishes.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | February 23, 1997
1995 Napa Ridge Chardonnay ($8).One of the best things about recommending Napa Ridge wines is that consumers can easily find them. It still amazes me that this winery can produce such good wines in such massive quantities. This medium-bodied chardonnay displays vibrant apple and lemon flavors and generous but not excessive oak. It definitely stands out in its price range.Note: Because of a production error, the 1996 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau featured here last week was pictured with the wrong label.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | March 8, 1995
Beringer consistently delivers fine value for the money, and it has the virtue of wide availability. The well-balanced, medium-full chardonnay is packed with flavors of lemon, apple, toasty oak, wintry spices and melon. The acidity is right on target, giving it a long, clean finish. It's amazing to think that this is Beringer's third-best chardonnay.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | August 23, 1995
This fruity, appley chardonnay with scads of in-your-face sweet oak is hardly subtle, but the flavors are fresh and breezy. The slight hint of mint underscores that it's not a Burgundy, but classic form can be overrated. This is simply a very well-made chardonnay at an attractive price.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | February 1, 1995
Chilean white wines have a dubious track record at best, but this splendid chardonnay is one of the best made in South America at a sensational price. It's a brilliant wine, bursting with appley fruit and toasty, yeasty flavors. Most impressive is its brilliant acidity, giving it a finish that many a $30 white Burgundy can't match.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | June 15, 1997
This toasty California white wine has that cool-breeze character you often find in Santa Barbara County chardonnays. There's plenty of crisp, appley fruit and lively acidity, with a well-modulated hint of oak. There's as much complexity as you can find in many a $20 chardonnay.Pub Date: 6/15/97
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2013
From: Columbia Valley, Washington Price: $11 Serve with: Salmon, ham, poultry It's great to be in a position to heartily recommend a wine that is so readily available. Despite being made in huge quantities, St. Michelle's basic chardonnay shows artisanal-level quality. It's a vibrant white wine that seems just a touch off-dry, but its generous acidity keeps it well within balance. There's ample green apple and citrus character and a very subtle kiss of oak. This is an exceptional example of skillful blending, and it can be served with a wide variety of foods.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2012
From: Mendocino County, Calif. Price: $14 Serve with: Salmon, ham, crabs Bonterra is one of California's largest and most reliable producers of organic wines. More important, from my point of view, is the fact that they're very good wines that won't make you feel like you're consuming them for your health. This Chardonnay would be an excellent value, organic or not. It's made in a breezy, fresh style, with a light application of oak (only 16 percent was put in new barrels)
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January 23, 2012
From: Napa Valley, Calif. Price: $45-$50 Serve with: Salmon, chicken in buttery sauce Sorry, budget buyers, this one is for the splurgers. Chateau Montelena Chardonnay is a consistent American classic — the wine that outshone the best of France back in 1976 and still stellar today. It's one of the few American chardonnays that can age a decade. This vintage is superbly balanced and complex, with a perfect marriage of fruit and oak. The flavors are no surprise — lemon, apple, vanilla, nuts — but the absolute harmony is always impressive.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | September 7, 2011
Big Sean, who will perform at Virgin Mobile FreeFest's Festival Stage at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, just dropped his video for "Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay   . " It's a party track from Sean's debut Finally Famous , featuring hookman-for-hire Roscoe Dash and Sean's mentor, Kanye West (who supplies some of his weakest bars in a long time). The Crayola-inspired video was directed by Hype Williams, the veteran director who has struggled creatively ever since the days of big-budget videos evaporated.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | August 3, 2011
As a general rule, it's best to steer clear of wineries with cute animal names and logos. Many have a certain "eau de zoo. " But this oak-free chardonnay from Toad Hollow is too well-made to ignore. It's also a reminder that many of the chardonnays that are thrust into oak aren't improved one bit. This is a crisp, stylish wine with plenty of lemon, peach, apple and grapefruit flavor and a bright, lasting finish. It's a delicious wine for summer sipping, and there's no reason to hang on to it when you can enjoy it now. From: Mendocino County, Calif.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | March 22, 2006
Italian chardonnay is not a category of wine I would endorse, but this wine is a brilliant exception at a remarkable price. It's well-balanced, subtle and unburdened by excessive or cheap-tasting oak. The flavor profile is what you expect from a good chardonnay - apples, lemon and nuts - with nothing intrusive. It could easily be mistaken for a well-made white Burgundy from a good second-tier village. That's impressive. Serve with salmon or other firm-fleshed fish.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | December 22, 1996
This toasty, rich chardonnay from the Rapel region of Chile is a real eye-opener. A veteran California winemaker, Traverso has fashioned a complex, exquisitely balanced white wine that could go head-to-head with many $15 chardonnays from the Napa or Sonoma valleys. There are well-integrated flavors of vanilla, lemon and apple and none of the funky character that plagues many Chilean chardonnays.Pub date: 12/22/96
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