Tag Archives: Napa

Chandon Vintage Brut 2012

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Chandon Website, $45

Info on Wine Searcher


Aaron: This is a solid brut.  Traditionally sharp and dry as you would expect, the nose is a non-factor.  I noticed pine on the flavor and not a lot of apple or pear like other sparkling wines.  89 points

Teri: Light nose, just a hint of lemon curd. Very crisp, dry and leaves you with a nice clean mouthfeel. Some grapefruit and lemon on the taste. Pleasent flavors and easy to drink. 89 points

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Butternut Chardonnay 2014

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Purchased from Cost Plus World Market, $15.99 ($11.49 sale)

Total Wine & More, $12.29


Aaron:  This has a nutty, buttery nose (Teri chose the bottle and I didn’t see the name when I made my tasting notes).  There were lots of pecans and cashews with a little buttermilk on the finish.  This reminded me of creamy citrus and olive oil.  90 points

Teri: Other than stone fruits and rose petals on the nose, this bottle lives up to its name. Buttery full Chardonnay, especially on the finish. Flavors of vanilla, peaches, apple pie and cream fill your palate from start to finish. Overall, delightful (especially if buttery chards are your thing)! 92 points

Ghost Pines Merlot 2012

Ghost Pines Merlot 2012Purchased from Safeway, around $15 Ghost Pines Website


Aaron: Chocolate and berries on the nose and just tons of fruit.  Noticeable tannins give good body and a bit of tobacco alongside mossy peaches and dark red apples makes the mind entranced with flavors.  Blackberries come in prominently at the end and the flavor lingers for a good long while.  This is easy drinking but a little mature for newbies I think.  90 points

Teri: Ghost Pines is a great go-to wine for quality and price. This bottles carries a nose of dark red fruits leading the way to delicious flavors of dark cherry, raspberry, and sweet oak in the wine. I love the jammy flavors of this bottle and the structured, yet smooth, drink-ability. Mocha and brown spice flavors make this Merlot savory and delectable. It just keeps getting better with age. 93 points

Artesa Chardonnay 2012 Carneros

Artesa ChardonnayTotal Wine & More, $15.99

BevMo, $17.99

Artesa Website


Aaron:  Artesa continues to win points on our blog.  This Chard features oak, oak, and more oak with olive leaves and green olives.  It was pretty full and slightly bitter at first but DON’T get discouraged – after opening up it’s magnificent with a bold richness hidden beneath a long lasting flavor.  This is super smooth and creamy, leaving you wanting more.  For a reasonably priced bottle I’d keep one or two on hand.  92 points

Teri: Artesa has been one of my favorite wineries since our first visit to their vineyards about 3 years ago. Aside from a beautiful tasting room atop a hill overlooking beautiful views of their vineyards, a multitude of the wines they craft match the elegance in flavor and beauty. Although this Chardonnay is one of their larger produced products, it remains full, flavorful, and refreshing. Metallic almond and green apple scents on the nose open to beautiful flavors of white peach, orange blossom and vanilla with just a hint of lemon on the finish. Slow legs are left on the glass after a swirl indicating its full flavor and long finish. You can find this bottle at most retailers who have an expansive wine selection and I highly recommend trying it at some point in your life. 90 points 

Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay 2013

Joel Gott Chardonnay 2013Joel Gott Website,

Total Wine & More, $13.99

BevMo, $12.99

Joel Gott Chard Fact Sheet


Aaron: A cold metal and stone engulfed apricots on the nose of this very buttery wine.  Flavors of green leaves and light berries interacted in the smooth creaminess and the medium body made this pleasant though not overly spectacular.  89 points

Teri: This unoked Chardonnay has the pleasant smell of buttery crackers matching the buttery lemon-grass and green apple flavors in the bottle. The finish is medium in length and creates a lasting mineral rich fruit flavor. 90 points